Key Texts: Acts 4:13-14
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.
Imagine: the learned and the powerful – speechless.
The bold witness of Peter and John stunned them and their actions – resulting in the physical healing of one man – and the spiritual healing of many others – spoke for themselves.
We rarely see such dramatic expressions of God’s power today (although some might challenge that and say the world at large just isn’t noticing the powerful things God is doing right in our midst.)
It is that one phrase in this passage of Scripture that leaps out at me: “they had nothing to say in opposition.”
I believe the world, for all its “wisdom” is still silenced by the stunning power of God at work.
The challenge to us is – do we know it? Do we recognize it as it happens? Do we even see it, much less understand it?
It is so easy to be distracted, busy, overwhelmed, worried, and confused.
That’s why it is so important to be an active part of a vibrant community of faith. That’s why it is so important to stay grounded in the Scriptures. That’s why it is so important to keep our spiritual eyes and ears – not to mention our hearts – open and willing to receive.
God is still at work, still doing wonderful and miraculous and powerful work, right under our noses.
That should give us all something to talk about.
By Paul Simrell
The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
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