Acts 18 gives us a window into how to gently and lovingly course-correct those in our midst who through ignorance or misunderstanding hold beliefs different than our own. Silence and solitude are Comer's first practical discipline for being less hurried, a necessary solace from a hyper-busy world into which he invites us. My challenge to you: take 5 (or 10!) minutes to simply BE.
Acts 17 finds Paul approaching people with the Gospel in the places and mindsets that he finds them, in the synagogue in Thessalonica, and among the intellectuals in Athens at the Areopagus. Our approach to others in our culture should be similar, starting where people are and moving toward the Gospel. And Comer encourage us to take on spiritual disciplines by reading the Gospels as biographies of Jesus, with an eye and a will to follow in His footsteps.
The 21st century church is not much different from it's 1st century predecessor in that it often faces threats from within and from outside, as Acts 16 shows us. But nothing can stop the Gospel's work, and God's people will inevitably find people of peace in whom to invest for the Kingdom. Creating margin in our lives for relationships and meaningful conversations is vital to our growth into the image of God, as the Spirit of Jesus empowers us.
The biblical word that joins our two conversations together today is "yoke" (pun intended!). In Acts 15, Peter exhorts the Jerusalem Counsel not to place upon Gentile converts to Christianity the "yoke" of the Jewish rabbis that nobody has been able to bear up under, and Comer exhorts us today to see Jesus' yoke as the equipment He uses to join us to His unhurried way of life.
Day 50! In the midst of so much going in our world, with a global pandemic and nationwide hurt, anger, and fear, God's Word still has something to tell us. Acts 14 shows us that ethnic and ideological divides are nothing new, even in the church, but the truth of the Gospel is what truly saves us. Comer reminds us that each of us gets no more than 24 hours each day, so learning to value our time and use it in meaningful ways will give us the full life God intended us to have, without regrets of wasting it.
The events of this weekend, with the protests and violent riots hitting pretty close to home, have led to a lot of introspection in our household about where God is in the midst of it all. We pray that the hope we have in Jesus is a stronger uniting power than any we know that may try to pull us apart.
As we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, we pray that the Spirit of Jesus that first enlivened and mobilized the church to spread the Gospel would always be in our midst. May we continue to be the Church "to-go," even as our society cautiously begins to open its doors to those who are seeking good things, and may the Spirit continue to fill us with an abundance of Jesus' presence and peace.