Friday, December 4, 2009

“And we are His witnesses.” (Acts 5.32)

New Testament Challenge, Day 20 – Acts 1-6 (Half Way There...)
I suppose it is appropriate that we are half way through our challenge and have just now finished the Gospels. First we hear the Good News and then we respond to the Good News with new life as is told to us the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles. So many Christians are of the opinion that only the Bible is worthy of our obedience because it “was given to us,” as if it was handed already bound and proofread with gold-bond pages.

Today I had a conversation about the ancient Church that was stemmed by a comment someone offered to me in a store as a response to my question, “Where do you go to Church on Sundays?” I should state that I didn’t initiate the conversation, but while visiting a parishioner’s business, I was asked by a customer, “So where are you?”

Me: “I’m the Priest at the Orthodox Christian Church on Cashua. Where are you on Sundays?”

Customer: “Nowhere specific. I pray from house to house like the Apostles did.”

Me: “Really? You know the Apostles didn’t go from house to house quite like you think. They went to The Temple every day and only worship in member’s homes because they had to. Did you know that?

Customer: “Where does it say that? It’s not in the Bible.”

Me: “You know there’s more than the Bible right? I mean, only since you said you do things like the Apostles did, I should tell you they worshiped in the Temple and had the Eucharist and other liturgical worship. They even told us how to pray and fast, even what words to use for celebrating the Eucharist. Did you know that?”........

The conversation continued in a polite back-and-forth of scripture quotes and challenges to respond etc. It was very civil. I suggested he read the Didache and “Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells” which I recommend for everyone to read.

I mention this story because as we read Acts and challenge ourselves to live the Faith established by Christ and His Apostles we cannot forget the words above, “And we are His witnesses,” and trust that as Christ promised; the Holy Spirit has led the Church into all truth. (John 16.13) Either the Holy Spirit guided the Church into all truth or not. If not, then Christ lied, which of course is nonsense.

Remember from yesterday’s challenge reading, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.” (John 17.20) It isn’t only the Apostles that stand as witnesses to Christ’s saving work. It is the Church, of which we are members today, that stands as His witness to the world.

No comments: