60 Seconds of Pastoral Ponderings
A blog for leaders
As a pastor I get excited reading the Book of Acts. And why not? It’s still the blueprint for the church right now. Nations rise and fall, morality takes center stage and a decade or two later is kicked clear out of the theater. Opinions differ with scuffles and outright wars triggered by those differences. But God’s plan for this planet and the people responsible for bringing his Kingdom to bear on all other kingdoms never deviates.
So we’re wise to read the Book of Acts with more than an historical rendering of another time and place. What God began there must continue as the norm here!
As God’s Holy Spirit was poured out and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus began to make sense to the disciples, life messages started to crystalize, cowards turned into bold truth speakers and unity, power and love became foundational to the new Church.
I read again of Peter and John’s trip to prayer meeting at the temple. There they encounter a man who was crippled and had been since birth. The healing of that man added mightily to the narration of the Church to its world. But the event of the healing made me stop and think. ‘Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!”’ Acts 3:4 New Living Translation
The lame man represents the world and culture around us, with all its shortcomings, misinformation and acute pain. With all the frenetic movement and apparent indifference to spiritual things … for all intents and purposes they sit in loneliness waiting for an answer.
It appears he overlooked these two or perhaps looked right past them. But Peter and John noticed him!
At this point this story and my concern for today’s church are running parallel. They are indifferent to us. Sadly, in some cases if we weren’t here … if our churches were not staged strategically on main streets … many wouldn’t even notice our absence.
But these men were full of God’s Spirit and his operating system had been installed in their souls. And they had every confidence when they said to the man, “Look at us!” They knew what he needed, had confidence that they possessed it and had the courage to actually give it away.
I worry at times that if our advertising were to suddenly work and the lost and hurting actually looked for us and at us, are we in possession of what we say we have? Have we succumbed to the notion that if we simply say it, we have it? My prayer is that we as leaders and the people we shepherd, through the Holy Spirit’s power and prompting find it easy to not only say, “Look at us” but are able to follow through with “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
Let’s keep Acts going!