Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Is the message contained?"

Today's reading Acts 5:22-26 (NIV)

When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23"We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside." 24On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this.

25Then someone came and said, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people." 26At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.

My dad owned a family style restaurant in the late 1960’s in West Plains, Missouri and one way we were able to get free radio advertising was to provide broadcasters for 30 minutes one afternoon per week. Wow, was it my time to shine, I had a voice that wanted to speak. A friend and I read funny news happenings from around the country, plugged the breakfast & buffet menus and described the aroma of a 25 cent cup of coffee with all the refills you could hold.

Weaving the advertisements in and out of funny stories got the message across in a way we hoped that people would listen to. When great feedback started at the restaurant we knew the message was clearly received. They liked what they heard. Our following began.

The apostles had a message to share and they had people listening intently but they also had the opposition to contend with. Who contends you when you have something important to say? How do you react? How do your contenders react? When you speak the message God gives you is it like jumping into a boxing ring fighting off your contender or is it like the advertisements I shared on the radio that were well received and unopposed?

Daily, people began to believe in the risen Christ and were baptized – God’s message was not going to be stifled by a group of guards. When you and I face opposition, we must remember that the world is not directing the journey - God is! God’s guidance cannot be contained anymore that the apostles were contained in jail – for they were in God’s protection. So are you my friend.

Dorothy Brucks, honored to be Deb's friend

Aldersgate UMC

Nixa, Mo.

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