Friday, September 15, 2006

Acts 15:12-21

Sometimes I think about the birth of America, how men met together and forged our democracy and how their dream has enriched our lives. Having lived in a developing third world country I don’t take much for granted. For example where I lived, one wouldn’t dream that he or she could go to almost any store, buy a stamp for a few cents (instead of a day’s wages), put it on a letter and the letter would GET TO the person in few days.

This chapter in Acts describes men and women by the power of God, building something even more amazing; a community of God. This would be a community where all types of people would be included and everyone would be welcome to come to God. These were exciting times in the church, and it stunned many that this community would be open to Gentiles. I can imagine how hard this would be for many. I can picture the church leaders struggling, debating such a difficult concept and trying to be open to the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes it’s a struggle to share. There are many ways each day to share the love of God. That’s one way to look at spiritual gifts; each person has been gifted to share God’s love in a different way. As we exercise our gifts the sharing is not burdensome but a joy. Sometimes we are tired, but God gives us strength. A song I’ve been listening to lately says, “I’m falling on my face, holding out for grace…”

Mostly when I read this Scripture I’m just amazed at God’s power to move men and women to decide that everyone can have a place to come to (v 17, The Message). The book of Acts is full of earthquakes; literal ones but also the ones where peoples’ lives and beliefs are turned upside down. That’s how powerful the Spirit is.

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