The very book of the Acts of the Apostles is like a display window. It compresses two or three decades of history. In it we read of the glorious growth of the church and of major spiritual outpourings, heroism, and persecution of the faithful. But we also see individuals growing. All the confrontations were not with the Sanhedrin; some were like the impasse in the companionship of Paul and Barnabas. Some members failed to live the law of consecration. We see young Paul "cloakholding" at Stephen's stoning. We see initial and deep resistance by some members (and some leaders) to the taking of the gospel to the gentiles. Imperfect individuals were caught in the collision of cultures, etc. So much is there, showing the soul-stretching that went on. Learning, then as now, was sometimes painfully public. But notwithstanding such weaknesses, members overcame, grew, and developed, collectively and individually. That is an important message for us now.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Today's Maxwell Quote
From Deposition of a Disciple (1976), 90-91: