Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Acts 4:5-12 (NRSV)
The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is
‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.’
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”
The high priest and others who were part of the high-priestly family questioned Peter and John, wanting to know through whose power or in what name they were acting. Peter responded by saying in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The high priest and family realized that these uneducated and ordinary men were companions of Jesus, and a notable sign had been done through them.
As Christians, much of what we do is often attributed to being called by God. Candidates for the ministry, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, and pastors usually start on that journey because they felt a call from God. Congregations rally around those individuals and support them in their work.
Recently, a resolution prohibiting certain individuals from having specific roles in some of our churches passed at a local presbytery meeting. The individual’s calling was not part of the resolution. The prohibitive and exclusionary language outlining a definition of marriage, sexual orientation, and gender roles was used as a deciding factor for whether or not an individual could serve in church roles. If someone is truly called by God, who are we to question that calling?
Lord so much of the world chooses to set limitations based on defining others. We are only truly defined by your love for us. Please help us as we navigate these paths. Help us to celebrate, accept, and love others unconditionally instead of limiting and excluding them just because they are different from us. Amen.
Go with God.