27 April 2015

Acts 5:27-33

"The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour, so that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." (vv. 30-31)

Psalm: Psalm 145:1-7



I may have 'non-conformist' written like words in Blackpool rock through the middle of my being, but, when push comes to shove, I'm very unwilling to rock the boat. I like to be liked far too much for my own good. When people say, "Dress in a way that makes you comfortable", my answer is always "What makes me comfortable is the way people expect me to dress!" If they want ties I'll wear one proudly! If jeans are required, I dust them down and find some trainers to go with them. So a good bit of me finds it quite unimaginable to think of standing before a high-powered committee and saying, "I know the truth and you don't!"

How could I possibly have a direct line to truth that has eluded others? How dare I think that my own view is somehow more important than someone else's? Why can't we just 'agree to differ'? Besides, doesn't getting along matter much more than being right?

I suppose a good deal of the time this is true. The woeful story of the Church is that disagreements which have split us over things, in the perspective of eternity, have the angels yawning with boredom and poorly-concealed despair. But sometimes we also know that 'sometimes truth' is just that.

We know it when we see a child hurting and no amount of clever economic arguments about 'hard reality' can stop us knowing in our bones 'this isn't how things should be'. We know it when we see a human being diminished and abused; the sacred image of the Holy God scorned and humiliated.

We perhaps also know it when the greatest story is denied; the tale of one who was so loved then rejected and destroyed, and yet is risen "with healing in his wings" (from the carol, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing). In this story, hope for change explodes on the world. In this claim there is held the promise of a renewed creation where, "death will be no more" (Revelation 21:4), the hungry will be fed, the hurt healed and the world restored. My sad lack of boldness is matched by a deep-seated longing that God will make all things new, which gives me courage.

To Ponder

  • If you were to write in a single sentence what your 'good news' is, what would you write? Could you try expressing it without using religious words?
  • What do you really long for in the world or for yourself?
  • What makes you angry enough to be really bold?

Bible notes author

The Revd Dr Mark Wakelin

Born in Africa to missionary parents, Mark Wakelin is a Methodist minister, He was the President of the Methodist Conference 2012/2013, and before that worked for the Connexional Team, as the secretary for internal relationships. He is now the minster at Epsom Methodist Chuch.