Scripture: Acts 5:12-26
Key verse: (20) “Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.”
Reflection: My evangelism professor in seminary, John Vest, began the semester by asking the class to explore several questions. “These questions,” he said, “are easy questions to think about, but rarely are they easy questions to answer. Why? Because they never get asked.” Question number one: What is the gospel? As the class put pen to paper there were smirks on several faces — there was one on my face. Question number two: If the gospel is Good News, what’s so good about it? We then we asked to share our responses with a neighbor. Question number three: Why does it matter to be a follower of Jesus Christ? After a few moments the class and the professor shared some looks. Following this exercise John Vest explained that we are so comfortable with these words and phrases that we rarely define them for ourselves. If you cannot answer these questions, how can you go out into the world and ask these questions?
This passage in Acts is a calling to not stand idle with the knowledge of “this life.” Life here is referring to the eternal life they taught through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Their deliverance from prison was not so they can run to safety and hide, but they were set free to encounter and encourage others with the message of life — the new life in Christ. Having been just arrested at the temple and thrown in prison, the apostles are released to return and tell of the good news.
You have a story to tell. You have an experience (possibly many) that defines your “message about this life.” Are we to run to safety and hide? Or are we going to stand in a vulnerable and brave space, engage in conversation with others, and share our faith story with others? Friends, go, stand at the intersection of vulnerability and bravery, love and faith (wherever that may be for you) and share the whole message about this life.
Prayer: Holy One, who sends us out to be messengers, who sets us free and delivers us from captivity, who’s love is the good news: we give thanks and praise. Give me courage and strength to engage with others and share my story of new life found in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[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].