Sunday, June 10, 2007


Acts 2:37-42

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
You have to wonder. The church in Acts was particularly relevant to their church. Our society is run by products and people that strive to be relevant to the culture, and yet when it comes to Jesus, we like to shrug it off and say that we are called to be apart. Yet I struggle with the question how. How are we called to be different? Should we separate ourselves entirely and form colonies for believers? Surely we can all see the folly in that. Are we to always wear suits and ties, and put our best image forward? Are we to avoid all the places where we might be seen with sinners, as to separate ourselves?

Somehow, it seems to me that these actions are those of the Pharisees, not of Jesus himself. Jesus went and dove into the world of prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners. He waded among the common people, attending weddings and walking through towns. He taught thousands of people at a time, all eager to learn more about Jesus.

But why? He was different.

Jesus didn't separate himself from the people, he melded with them. His teachings were radically different (the separation) from the teachers of the day, and yet they were relevant because Jesus got to the heart of matters, and didn't avoid the hard questions. If something was on your heart, Jesus would deal with it. If there was sin hiding in your heart, He would root it out.

Is our church today relevant? With our big buildings and fancy powerpoints, we seem to have all the tools we need to reach out to people. But a chasm is deepening between us and culture with every year. We try to be relevant, and culture pulls away. We try to be hip, and people call us fake. He try to use the latest technology to bring people in, and it fails to convey the real message.

The basics. Jesus was all about the basics. How do you live? Are you following God? Where is your heart at? He was strangely bold, and yet sensitive at the same time. Aslan is not a tame lion.

We as a church need to learn what it means to LIVE our message. Starting first with rooting out the sin in our own hearts, collectively, and consecrate ourselves to be holy. Stop the bickering and fighting and focus on the only thing that matters: God.

Then, and only then, can we look outward to the world around us, and focus on what is on their hearts. We are the salt. We are the light.

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