Acts 1, 6-7
Something to read
Then they gathered around him and asked him, 'Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?' He said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
New International Version
Something to think about
Control – being able to exercise ‘kingdom’ – is still a huge issue in our world today. Time and again, struggles for power have centred round racial and social divisions. And as the Arab Spring has rolled out across our TV screens, we have seen long-standing kingdoms falter.
The disciples wanted to know about the Israelites being a significant political force in the world again; and in particular when it was likely to happen, so they could pace themselves for it.
And timing in such situations matters. People can become very brave when they are convinced liberation is just around the corner. Sometimes they are wrong, with devastating results.
We all crave the security of good control, and fear the tyranny of bad control. God cares about this, and the gospel cannot avoid being political amid struggles for power. It matters who people allow to be in control of their lives.
Something to do
Think of a situation in the news this week, where people are struggling to put themselves under a good regime of control. Find a way today to speak up for them – perhaps by writing to your MP, or signing an online petition, or just speaking up for them in conversations during the day.
Something to pray
Merciful God, we pray for people who are seeking liberation from unjust and cruel ‘kingdoms’, especially for those who sense change is coming and who are risking their lives to help it happen. Grant them their hearts’ desire. And open our eyes to understand more of what your ‘kingdom’ is about.
Today’s contributor is JUST LIVING, a fresh expression of church in Devon devoted to the Christian pursuit of justice for the poor and closely linked to Christian Aid.