Catch Fire Day 19 Acts 4:23-31
I remember my college days. I was in the anti-dictatorship demonstration. Thousands and thousands of college students were in the streets. We were all in one heart. We wanted democratic government in our country, Korea. We shouted together with boldness. We were facing military tanks and rifles. Still we did not back down. “We rather die than to live under dictatorship!” The shout was loud enough to make the buildings shaking.
In the Bible, I read the same thing. When the disciples were in one mind and one heart, they raised their voices together. They were bold. It was stated in this way: “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
Today, it is hard to see “boldness” because we do not have “oneness in mind.” Our culture is divided. Should we have mega churches? No, mega churches are not theologically right! So we don’t pray for mega churches. Should we evangelize people and convert non-Christians into Christians? No, it is not our theology. We believe in tolerance. So, we do not pray for evangelism. Should we ask commitment and accountability from colleagues? No, we don’t want to be judgmental and critical. We want to be inclusive and understanding. So we don’t pray for sacrifice and commitment. Then, do we pray for small but faithful and inclusive churches? No we want to overcome financial crisis and save the institution also. So we do not pray for small but faithful and inclusive churches.
On the other hand, everybody else is united to be against churches. Herod, Pontius Pilate, with Gentiles and the people of Israel, gather together in unity against Jesus and his church! (Acts 4:27)
So, I pray that God should heal our division for us to be one heart. I pray that God should give us one clear vision and goal of community of love. O Lord, I pray, “Allow your miracles and wonders in our conference so that we should love and respect each other and pray in one mind even when our theologies and stances are different! Have mercy on us, O God, we are not in one heart and we are not bold! O Holy Spirit, make us members of one body, functioning differently but for one purpose of loving the world.” In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen!