Monday, August 11, 2008

Acts 5:12-26

There used to be a show on TV, Joan of Arcadia, in which the main character challenged God to point out a miracle that occurred in modern times, God (he was an actual person she could see) pointed to a tree. Although today’s reading does not immediately translate to the same concept, it can. When we first read this story we are shown a fantastic image, the apostles were thrown into jail, yet Jesus enabled them to escape and preach without the guards of the jail ever knowing. But, when you think about it, this miracle translates to something that happens, or can happen in everyday life.

In America we are not put into prison for preaching God’s word, nor are we guarded by soldiers to enforce our silence; but there is a force which is, perhaps, even more daunting than the afore mentioned: society. We are told that it is inappropriate to relay our faith to others, and that any act which we use to consciously provide witness of Christ is a taboo one. But today’s reading gives us hope. The apostles were delivered from prison for their courage and faith, and that is something that we can rely on occurring every day if we allow it to; every day we can look for ways to witness — be it actually sharing our faith, or just a kind word, we are assured that God will allow us the strength and courage to rise above societal pressures and show Him to others.

As Saint Matthew’s draws its season of sending missions trips to an end with the return of the team from Philadelphia and the preparation of the team going to Mississippi there are many stories which people can tell about the power of being a witness for Christ. Although the people who went on these mission trips did travel to share God’s presence and His gifts to us, I would encourage us all to take these stories and make them part of our own lives, to rely on God to give us the courage to consciously use simple acts as an everyday witness for Him.

May we all marvel at trees, life, love, and His power.

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