Today's Bible reading: Acts 5:17-42

The Holy Spirit was on the move in the early Church … the Church was imperfect, but there was KOINONIA … there was power and healing and salvation in Jesus’ name.  Incredible things were happening!  I suppose if there is one word to describe the attitude of the apostles in these early days of the New Testament Church it is “boldness.”  Even when arrested and hauled before the Jewish Council, these simple Galileans - untrained in the law - have the courage to speak out openly and boldly.  When ordered not to preach “the name” any longer, they insist that they must speak what they know is the truth, obeying God rather than man.  Obviously this isn’t simply raw human courage at work.  These are people who are living out the promise of Jesus, who foretold that they would be persecuted for their faith, but that they would be given the right words and the wisdom to answer their judges.

Such boldness does not mean escape from suffering.  Despite Gamaliel’s counsel that the Christians should not be persecuted - because time would show whether this new sect was of God or not - the apostles are beaten and again ordered to stop their preaching of the name.  Yet such suffering only gives them joy and is the prelude to even greater preaching of Christ – preaching that touches us and strengthens and nourishes us even today … just as it has for Christians through the millennia.

Prayer: Lord, fill us with all due reverence for You and Your mysteries.  Stretch forth Your hand to heal the sicknesses of our bodies and souls.  Amen.