Acts 1, 21-22
Something to read
Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
New International Version
Something to think about
It is heartening that the earliest Christian disciples were concerned about ‘mission creep’. It’s all too possible for a movement to lose what it is really about, and come to be about something else. If only subsequent Christians down the centuries had been so astute.
Key to sustaining the true nature of the Jesus movement was its beginnings in the John the Baptist movement, a massive renewal movement within Judaism which had spread outside the confines of Judaea (see Acts 19:1-7).
This requirement for qualifying the twelfth apostle probably confirms that all Jesus’ disciples had previously experienced this renewal of faith and lifestyle, and of course Jesus himself had been part of it and accepted its baptism.
Amid modern confusion about what the Christian faith really stands for, its foundations in a call to change our lifestyle in line with the justice and righteousness of the Kingdom of God need to be re-affirmed.
Something to do
Ask someone who doesn’t go to church what is most ‘credible’ about the Christian faith today? (Make sure they understand you are not asking about the ‘church’ or ‘religion’.) Then reflect on their answers, and how you could be a modern apostle, someone who is a living witness to these things.
Something to pray
Merciful God, I am sorry for the times I have failed to be a witness to the essential foundations of the gospel, in purity of life and love for my neighbour. Give me a fresh vision for your Kingdom on earth, so that I can be a witness to these things and work towards the justice of your Kingdom in today’s world.
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.