The book of The Acts of the Apostles tells the fascinating story of the growth of the Christian Church from its very small beginnings. It is an exciting story, and all the way through, despite set-backs and difficulties and dangers, there is the sense we get from the apostles that everything is bound to work out, their mission is bound to succeed. And the reason for this confidence is plain in the story – they were all completely convinced of the importance of the Good News they had to tell. Jesus was very real to them, and they couldn’t imagine how anyone could manage without him.
The early Christians were very conscious of being the body of Christ continuing the work Jesus had begun - the work of teaching, preaching and healing. There was a sense that all those who were doing Christ’s work were all together and bound into a wonderful unity. Since they realised that it was Christ’s work that they were doing, it was his strength and not their own which enable them to succeed. And this surely is the reason for their confidence – always they are led and guided by the Holy Spirit. All of this should be just as true of us, the Church of Christ today.
The apostles were very conscious of being the body of Christ, doing his work, and they therefore expected to be guided by God. They were constantly on the lookout for the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We tend to be rather suspicious of people with a mission, people who have a vision. But it’s worthwhile asking ourselves whether we shouldn’t, as Christians, be more alert for the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And if God gives us a job to do, he will also give us the strength and skill to do it.
Your friend and Parish Priest
Father David. Phone 815588 for a Pastoral chat or in an emergency.
Father David has just published a book on his personal experience of being a Black Vicar in the Church of England having served many different parishes from rural to inner-city and a lot of things in-between. He writes movingly from his experience. MISSION, ANGUISH AND DEFIANCE is a carefully written book that deserves careful reading. £12.00 from Charlestown and Par churches. (£2.00 goes to church funds)