Sunday is the Second Sunday after Pentecost. The multilingual nature of the Pentecost experience was God equipping God’s church with the power of God’s Spirit so that we might live out the two greatest commandments among people everywhere! In the assigned sacred text from Acts 5 is an example of the urgency of doing this.
After their Pentecost experience, the disciples are brought before religious authorities for teaching in Jesus’ name against the strict orders they had given them to not do so. They responded, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” They preach so because “We are witnesses to these things, (Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection) and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:32)
That got me to thinking: “Why is the Church and Christians so “frequently wrong, but never in doubt” on justice and equality issues in real time? Over the past few hundred years, the church has been in the rearguard on these issues when the early church was always in vanguard of issues of their day. The Christian Church has been in the rearguard on women’s issues, interracial marriage, civil rights for African Americans, equal rights, and marriage equality for the LGBTQ+ community; and the list goes on. Yet Jesus and the early church never shied away from taking courageous stands and action for the vulnerable, those suffering injustice and abuse by those in power. It would be powerful if the Christian church today lived the truth of these words of equality “For in Christ Jesus you are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. … There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26 & 28)
Perhaps the Church and Christians are “Frequently wrong, but never in doubt” on important social issues is because many are not obeying God’s commands to “Love God and love others.”
Join us at Covenant by zoom or Facebook livestream for worship this week. My sermon “Frequently Wrong, But Never in Doubt” challenges us to live in obedience to God’s call to love. It’s based on Acts 5:27-32 and John 20:24-31