(Acts 4:33) “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.”
From time to time I am amazed by reading a simple verse and realizing its profound meaning. In your mind’s eye can you see a gathering of people sitting around two or more standing apostles as they recount the personal experiences they had with Jesus or the events surrounding his death and resurrection?
To both the faithful Christians and to those yet to believe, the apostles were commanded by the Lord to be living links to the past. In John 14:26, the Lord told them that the Holy Spirit would remind them of the things Jesus said while still alive. It was up to the apostles to testify of those things to everyone else in the world (Acts 1:8).
For many years Libbie and I visited several churches each summer as we traveled by motorcycle through various states. At those churches you are completely anonymous. Usually traveling by motorcycle means that our church clothes were clean jeans, a clean tee shirt and riding boots!
Arriving like that at a church, you find out what they are really like! And most of our experiences were wonderful! When I go to other churches as an invited speaker I don’t get to see them as they “really are.” But vacationing you get to share in their “normal” quality of preaching, teaching, singing, fellowship and outreach.
Especially in the northeast, the churches are often small and seem just barely holding on, maybe numbering a dozen or two folks meeting together. They are usually simple, sincere people grateful for the chance to be with other believers. I often found myself thinking of things I would do differently to help them if I were there.
But beyond that, I almost always found myself thinking primitive and basic thoughts. These people, true believers, like Christians have for almost two thousand years, have come together to pray and sing and hear preaching and study the Bible and share their lives. They’ve had a hard week. They’re tired, overworked, and perhaps worried about money or health. But today, as Christians, they have come together to remember Jesus Christ, the Son of God: Savior, Sacrifice, Crucified, Risen. When all else is said and done, we gather because we believe “in the one they call Jesus.”
- Tim Orbison