Scripture: Acts 4:1-12
Key verses: (1-2) While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead.
“A dead Christ I must do everything for;
a living Christ does everything for me.”
— Andrew Murray
Not a prescription to be helpless or lazy, or even worse: entitled, Murray instead is pointing out that a resurrected Lord is not something that we have to talk about and convince people of. Nor, need we work hard to make sure we believe it ourselves; a resurrected Lord enables us to speak, act, live, pray, forgive, and love in ways we never imagined or thought possible. The disciples spent those early Easter days running away, hiding away, whiling away the time — anything to forget about everything. It was Jesus, crucified and risen, who kept showing up, reaching out and gathering in the frightened and fleeing ones by forgiving and feeding them, blessing and encouraging them to see what God was doing. The encouragement didn’t and doesn’t stop. Months, years, centuries on, God continues to work in and through his people. See how Peter and John spoke up and spoke for their Lord, even to ones who could imprison them and take their life. They discovered they were stronger, better than they knew, because they welcomed and trusted in the good news and the God who made it all possible.
We are an Easter people, not by working hard and making it so. We are an Easter people because God is an Easter God and enables and empowers (and ferociously loves) us, even the likes of you and me.
This day be within and around me,
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
-from the Northumbria community.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].