RHYTHM: Brand New Game – Acts 5

easter 2 Acts 52nd Sunday of Easter: Acts 5:27-32

Reading: Acts 5:27-32

Brand New Game

This had to be really scary.

It was one thing to back up Jesus as he brilliantly went toe to toe with the established faith leaders. It was another altogether for the apostles to do it on their own. The high priest, Sadducees, and Pharisees are concerned with the continued receptiveness of the people to the message of Jesus. They’re even more bothered to have their involvement in the demise of Jesus repeatedly pointed out by the disciples.

The response of the disciples to the charge of ignoring a direct command to stop speaking about Jesus resonates even today: we answer to a higher authority.

The struggle that occurs when governing authority clashes with Christian belief systems is real. Look at your Facebook feed. The challenge today is that there’s not much consensus on where the line is that shouldn’t be crossed. Government officials refusing to do their jobs on religious grounds (but not quitting that job). Businesses arguing the same grounds while refusing services to specific people. Some Christians rally behind these people; others rail against them. Who can say what’s right?

Gamaliel, a Pharisee on the council, called for cooler heads to prevail. He points out that Jesus wasn’t the first outspoken personality to gather a following and make a general social stir. Gamaliel’s suggestion is simple: let it sort itself out. The supporters of Theudas and Judas the Galilean faded into the background after each were killed. Would the same happen with Jesus’ followers? Let’s find out.

For reflection:

How do you decide when to speak out as a Christian?

Do you go beyond social media activism when you decide you need to do so?

 

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