This blog post was first published on our church website here.
“The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching (Acts 5:27-28a)
You’ve filled Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and the surrounding towns and villages with your teaching. Wouldn’t it be great if we as a church got accused of that! Here in Acts 5, this is part of the growing threats and accusations that are being made angst the Apostles and early church. Just try and picture what they were being accused of: conversations in corner shops, roadside whisperings, leisurely conversations over a meal, temple nudges and winks — all of them filled up with the story and reality of Jesus. Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and long-awaited return mixed into the everyday conversations of a bustling 1st-century city.
As I said earlier, I pray and long for the day when we are accused of a similar influence here in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and all the surrounding villages! Market holders, coffee shop owners, school teachers, hairdressers, nurses, doctors, bus drivers, factory workers, stay-at-home parents, retirees all gossipping about Jesus. One by one filling this whole region up with the wonderful reality that Jesus is alive and is changing lives all around us! Wouldn’t that be amazing? If so, let me finish with asking you what is your part in it? Maybe you could start by delivering some of our church online flyers? Or maybe you could pick up the phone and chat with a neighbour, work colleague or friend? On the other hand, living by the beach, maybe you could go for a walk. All of these everyday activities are wonderfully ripe moments for talking about Jesus and how he has changed your life. It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic, in fact, maybe the more mundane or everyday ways Jesus is active in your life may be helpful. Why don’t we all have a go and let’s pray that over time we can fill up this whole region with the knowledge that Jesus is alive and is changing lives!
This Monday morning, I offer myself to you afresh and ask that you would give me more and more opportunities to share about how you are changing my life! Not just big and dramatic opportunities but also many everyday opportunities where I can show those around me what it means to walk with you. Amen