Posted by: Postordinandy | October 14, 2009

As I’ve already said…

As part of our ongoing engagement with the story of the early church as reported in Acts we recently looked at chapters 25 & 26. Paul is once again hauled before the authorities, this time the Roman governor Festus and the local king Agrippa. Once again, the charge laid against him is that he is stirring up trouble amongst the Jews, challenging the authority of the Romans, and generally making a nuisance of himself. Paul doesn’t help his case by not directly denying the charges – although he does state that he has done “nothing wrong against the law of the Jews, or the Temple, or against Caesar” (25:8).

Much of chapter 26 is a re-telling by Paul of his zealous pursuit of God – firstly by seeking to defend Him against these dangerous heretics who claimed Jesus as Messiah, and then by seeking to tell the story of the very same Jesus. We have heard this before, of course. Paul has already been recorded telling this tale in various forms in a number of previous chapters. Each time he tells the story, you would forgive him for sounding a little frustrated (“come on, how many times do I have to tell you people!?!”) or creative (“let me tell you something I’ve told no-one else…”); but he sticks to the task.

This repetition is a common feature in Acts. Paul’s repeated story of his dramatic conversion; his retelling of the story and significance of the Cross; the Apostles being incarcerated; dramatic healing and other supernatural interventions; persecution and martyrdom – along with surprising church numerical growth.

groundhog day

We have spent a long time looking at the story of Acts now, taking a few chapters a week, often asking the same questions of the text: what themes do we see? What has impacted us about the reading? How does this apply to our own context? For many of us, these relatively few, often repeated themes were a source of some frustration. It was not always easy to be enthusiastic when the initial answers to the questions felt the same week after week. But over time, we began to think of the repetition from a different angle. Perhaps the themes are repeated because they are important. I know, it’s obvious really.

It occurred to us that our own stories should become familiar to us, repeated often (appropriately), and boldly. We are around 2 years old as an expression of church now, and have generated stories of God’s grace in difficult times, His provision in sparse times, and His generosity at all times.

We still have some way to grow with respect to the above. We are not as familiar with our own stories as we should be. We do not look for, or take, the opportunities to tell the stories as often as we could. But the story of God moving in Walthamstow High Street is being told. He walks with us as we make drinks and serve cake at the Farmers’ Market; He sits with us in the Pop-In Café; He speaks to us as we gather together at other times; and He whispers to us and through us the love He has for all His creation.

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Responses

  1. i am very much moved by what i read i dont think one has to be in a building to serve the lord if one cannot bring people to the church then the church can go to the people i am a devoted christian was a member of st Luke untill it close
    I hope God will answer our prayer and find a way out for St Luke


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