21 Apr Bible chat and catch-up for this week…there’s TWO!
Good Evening or Morning everyone!
Well…as we continue to be separated physically from each other…it’s time we got together around God’s Word & at least looked at one another & shared some of what God has been doing with us over the last week or so. AND we’re going to do this twice this week to make sure we’re accessible to as many people as possible. We’ll cover last Sunday’s texts, 1 Peter 1:1-9 & the Easter Narrative from John 20:1-9 and you are welcome to be part of both Zoom sessions, if you have time & inclination, but there are 2 to make it more convenient for more people. So if you can only make one, or if you only make one, you won’t be missing anything different. 😉
Topic: Bible Chat & catch-up
Time #1: Apr 22, 2020 07:30 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney
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Meeting ID: 833 9597 7280
Time #2: Apr 23, 2020 10:30 AM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney
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Meeting ID: 881 4247 2901
Of all the things this particular uncomfortable season has brought to us…these Zoom times may be what we keep doing…we’ll see.
And just some thoughts about what else I’m learning…
This morning I was reading Acts 23…Paul has been arrested in Jerusalem & is making his first defense before the Jewish Religious High Council & the Roman authorities. He has already caused some excitement in this hearing first, because he is a natural born Roman citizen & second, because he is fluent in Greek & Hebrew so he can speak to both the Romans & the Jewish Religious leaders in their native tongues. But then he throws a cat among the pigeons by saying, “I am on trial because my hope is in the resurrection of the dead!” (Acts 23:6) This creates an internal civil war on the Jewish High Council since it sets the Sadducees (who do not believe in a resurrection) against the Pharisees (who do).
A few verses later after this first hearing has ended in chaos, Paul is in his cell later that night & the Lord speaks to him, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.”
It struck me that both of those verses demonstrate yet again that God’s vision for his work here is infinitely larger than our vision. If you’ve read Peter’s letters, you’ll see that he, like Paul here, builds his entire argument for the Christian faith on the foundation of “God raised Jesus from the dead.” Without the resurrection of Christ from the dead, nothing else matters…If Jesus is still dead then they can all go back to work or back to sleep…because nothing matters if Jesus is still dead. But if he’s alive…then God’s work is expansive and boundless…! Of course he’s on trial for that hope. We still are!
Then Paul has the vision that his ministry will extend to Rome and beyond…Again we see the limitless boundless nature of God’s reconciling redeeming work. The gospel is truly meant to be shared with the entire world…Paul would at best get us started. Now it’s on us to be responsive to God’s massive call to carry his name to the world.
We can talk about that too in our Zoom times!