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Wednesday, June 08, 2011


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-"Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word."-Acts 6:3

The first controversy had entered the Church.  The widows of the Greeks were not being treated the same way as the widows of the Hebrews, at least in the estimation of the Greeks.  This was a potentially disastrous issue.  The early Church had managed, in some way, to reach across ethnic lines and include Greeks as well as Jews in this new religion, but now the Greeks were upset.  If they were not placated, and they did not feel equal, they would have left, and the early Church could have splintered.  So the disciples convened the whole church, and issued the proclamation above. They decided to let the church find some other folks to do this work, since they could not, and they settled things down, for the moment.

Acts, as you may recall, is the history of the Church, and as such, it teaches us a lot about how we should be doing things.  And this passage reminds us of something important; that the Church must be agile.  As groups of people gather together to do important work, issues will arise, and those issues must be met.  Sometimes they must be met with change; with something different than the previous norm.  While this is hard, it is also vital to the future vitality of any given church.  The changes the apostles made allowed the Church to continue to perform God's work in Jerusalem, and thus the change was completely justified.  Change for the sake of change is pointless, but change for the benefit of the Church's mission is vital.

Prayer:  Holy God, help me to set the church free from my own expectations, so that it may do your work with all necessary vigor and enthusiasm.  Help me to find a place of ministry within the church's mission, and help me to receive that place humbly.  I pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

[Phillip Blackburn, Fist Presbyterian Church]

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