Text: Acts 4:1-12
For God’s servants in every land who lift up the Name
For the Holy Spirit’s enlightening work in your life
For Godly courage in the face of conflict
THE BOOK WE know as the Acts of the Apostles could just as easily be named the Acts of the Holy Spirit. If the Gospels are about Jesus, the Son of God, then Acts is about the Breath, the Spirit of God. It is the Breath that blows and fills and burns in the lives of men and women and it is on the strength and support of that wonderful Breath that the followers of Jesus, their lungs filled with holy air, can speak, their voices ringing with the story of salvation.
As the Spirit moves, it upends, it restores, it challenges, it reveals. Today, we are treated to another revelation: Peter and John, arrested for their activities in the name of Christ, lift up the name of Jesus among the gathered authorities in Jerusalem. Peter had opened his hand to a beggar before the gates of the Temple; here, in the meeting hall of the Sanhedrin, Peter must open his mouth. Jesus is declared Lord! All other authority must come under his gentle rule.
We might say Peter was particularly brave, speaking so boldly in the presence of those who had ended his Teacher’s life mere months before. In this scene we see the promise Jesus had made to his disciples fulfilled: the Advocate, the One who Comes Alongside, gives Peter both the words and the nerve to speak truth.
You and I have also had moments, and will have moments, when our faith in Jesus will require us to speak truth and to remain firm, even when conflict is threatened. The Christian life touches every part of our daily lives—our relationships, our economics, our politics, our philosophies of life. There is risk, even if only to our individual selves and our preferred ways of life. But be not afraid! Let us not seek our own comfort or status but let us act in the name of Jesus and let the Spirit do its work. It will go to every hall of power and every simple home—you need only open your mouth and your hand.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks