The Church Is Deployed!
ACTS IN 90 DAYS
A reading for Wednesday, June 3, 2020: Acts 8:4-25.
"The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. So there was great joy in that city."
Even as Saul and the other persecutors tried to stop this Jesus movement, the apostles continued their work. Luke tells us that they were "scattered", meaning perhaps they were even on the run. However, notice they did not let their circumstances affect the passionate way they shared the gospel.
Men and women were healed. The gift of baptism and the Holy Spirit was shared. They preached that Jesus was the Messiah, and even taught grace as the bridge back to Almighty God. Many villages in the region of Samaria were converted, and the apostles returned to Jerusalem sharing the good news.
This too is the church. It's not just a gathering of Jesus disciples. It is that, but it's also the followers of Jesus scattered in the world, sharing good news with those they live with and among. It's healing and preaching, teaching and worshipping together. Jesus gave these early followers all they needed to do this work, and the good news is that we stand in line with them even today.
We still may be scattered, unable to gather for regular in person worship. But what if we decided that was okay and even Biblical, in that it gives us the chance to act as Jesus would. Remember, someone once said God so loved the world and not just God so loved the church.
Someone else said, the church isn't closed... it's merely deployed. Thanks be to God!