A moment to reflect........
by Morag Cameron
Bible reading Acts 19:8-10
“So Paul entered the synagogue and spoke out fearlessly for three months, addressing and convincing them about the kingdom of God. But when some were stubborn and refused to believe, reviling the Way before the congregation, he left them and took the disciples with him, addressing them every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.”
When I was young I was of the generation where we as children weren’t encouraged to ‘speak out’. We knew how to behave when visitors came and also knew better than step out of line.
I recall vividly visits from my Mum’s Aunt and her husband -the good china was out, cloth napkins carefully folded, many home made cakes on the table and best of all plates with sandwich fingers, some filled with salmon others with egg. With my two brothers I had to sit and watch the adults being offered the sandwich fingers once, twice then a third time and only when my Mum was sure the visitors did not want another were we offered one. The waiting was agony as we counted in to ourselves how many were being devoured and hoped we would get some – though we sat fix fixed smiles on our faces and never dared ‘speak out’
Speaking out was something Paul did so well. When reading the book of Acts I’m struck at the difference in my life to the life Paul led. His life was one big mission to proclaim Christ. Paul travelled from town to town proclaiming the Good News with relentless focus – something I find incredible and so admire. As a wife, mum and granny I don’t do much travelling, but I am seeing neighbours, relatives and starting again to see friends and people in the street as restrictions are lifted so even though my circumstances are very different to those of Paul, my goal should be the same - to: proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, to take part in God’s work here in our town or wherever I find myself.
In Matthew 28.18-19the Great Commission states, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age”
This isn’t Paul’s anthem alone but it belongs to us as well. This is what should drive us all to share our story of the goodness and grace we have and are experiencing from God. This is what should push us to be like Paul - fearless as we go out and proclaim the Good News.
Our mission, no matter what our title is is to proclaim the good work God has done in our lives. Some of us might be called to travel from city to city, relying on the Holy Spirit to guide us but most of us will stay in the same place but will still be reliant on the Holy Spirit to guide our words when we’re interacting with our colleagues, children, friends, neighbours and other people God brings our way.
It is easy to read the book of Acts and think Paul’s fearless pursuit of sharing the Gospel was only for his time but when we are truthful we know just as the Good News of Jesus changed lives back in the first century, it still is changing lives today.
Reading through Acts, let the testimony of Paul and the work of the Holy Spirit encourage us to spend time in prayer asking God for boldness in the spaces He’s placed us. Listen to the Spirit’s leading in your own life and always remember God’s promise to us as you go and share His Good News: He is with us always, even to the ends of the earth.
Prayer Loving God we ask You for boldness to enable us to step out in faith at all times and not fear. May we profess the victory in our lives and not let anything hinder our confidence, in not only ourselves but also in You, the Everlasting Father.
A verse for each day for you, from members of the congregation:
"When you pass through the waters I'll be with you and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord Your God."
The Lord is my