Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Acts 8:1-13

Daily Devotional – Tuesday July 3, 2007
Acts 8:1-13
Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.

Greetings dear reader on this day before our national holiday. We prepare for a celebration of our national birthday. We celebrate being proud of who we are. Being a Canadian living here I am fortunate to celebrate July 1 or Canada Day and also July 4th. Both great peoples are proud of who they are and their heritage. Regretfully this kind of pride is more important to the old than to the young. We are fortunate to be able to celebrate what we believe and who we are. It has not always been so. Today’s reading from Acts tells of events immediately following the stoning of Stephen the first of many Christian martyrs. The local leader of this persecution was of course Saul, later to be called Paul.

I marvel at the power of the faith of these 1st generation Christians. They were not bible scholars or theologians. They were not the children of Christian parents who had attended Sunday school and learned bible stories as children. These were adults who were told where they could find salvation, peace and life everlasting. They were introduced to a totally new concept that changed their outlook on the world and each other. This concept was called love. And they believed it. In today’s short passage we see Philip working God’s magic and preaching the good news and converting many.

We read of Simon who was a magician and was proclaimed as having God’s power. However, Philip’s examples of God’s true magic in the name of Jesus Christ was recognized as coming directly from God. Simon himself believed and this confirmed the good news to all. This faith in a time of extreme persecution is hard to understand in our modern world. These Christians knew exactly who they were and what they believed and they were proud. Today’s church suffers from an identity crisis where we are being asked if we are Episcopalians or Anglicans and many don’t know the difference or simply don’t care.

I wish you a happy 4th of July in the hope that we can all together thank God for putting us in a place where we can worship God and celebrate our national pride and public demonstrations with the fear of persecution.

God is good! AMEN

John Dickie, July 3, 2007

No comments: