The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13
When I think of the ministry of PCC, and the favor God is giving us as a church, I think of us playing above our weight class! The Kingdom of God works like that! (We will see that with HD clarity starting September 30 as we engage in a series called Dear Church, a study of the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.) I hope that you are getting a sense these past few weeks for what God is doing in and through the ministry of PCC.
This year, we’re hoping that what was said of the first followers of Jesus will be said of us. The two men whom this passage refers to were uneducated fishermen who stood confidently and spoke truth to the religious, political, and intellectually elite of their day. Take note of what was noticed by those who listened: The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).
Amazement happens when reality exceeds expectations. Can I be honest with you? I get the best vantage point of PCC, traveling to all four gatherings on most Sundays. You, the people who occupy our seats each week, amaze me. When I think “amaze,” I think of:
- Paul and Jean from our 8:55 Gathering – They are always the last faces I see when I leave the Worship Center en route to the gym, and I am always greeted by an infectious smile, a warm hug, and an encouraging word, even as they are facing formidable trials. How can I not leave the Sanctuary after that encounter in anything but amazement?
- Steven and Caroline from our 9:05 Gathering – This young couple have an infectious faith that is lived out vividly by displaying Jesus’ heart for all peoples, especially His heart for justice. Caroline volunteers in our Student Ministries, pouring into teenagers, and Steven drums on many Sundays. Beyond that, they are critical, along with a select group of others, in leading our Racial Justice Collective – PCCers who are driving our “seeking social justice” value through all ministries of PCC. (Join us this Sunday at 12:30pm in the Worship Center Basement if you’d like to find out more.)
- Barb from our PCC Hudson Gathering – Barb’s joy is infectious and her childlike wonder and faith in Jesus are otherworldly! Barb lives boldly, whether it be prayer walking around Hawes School (Join in Saturdays at 7:30am), leading Bible Studies in a care facility or serving people at PCC Hudson. Her faith is amazing!
- Emily, a young adult who grew up at PCC and who is attending our 11:00 gathering. I have always seen kernels of faith in Emily since she was a kid, but her authenticity as a 20-something is what currently amazes me. This Sunday, she wrote the following prayer request on her card to be prayed for by almost 200 PCCers on our prayer team: (If you are not on it, join this team!) “I would love some prayer for strength in practicing what I preach, being an example of Christlikeness. I choke when in a secular environment & have a hard time holding myself accountable to match my actions with my beliefs…” How many of us have felt that same tension? (Would you pray right now for Emily?)
For anyone feeling underqualified, underprepared, or in over their head (and who doesn’t feel that at times, living for Jesus these days?), Acts 4:13 offers hope. It is not education, wealth, position, or political favor that makes us competent or qualified to do great things for God. Rather, it is time spent with Jesus that makes us ready for His purposes and that amazes people towards Jesus.
This Sunday I’ll wrap up our mini series on Hope that Moves looking at Acts 5 and the Bold Obedience of Peter and John. Read up ahead in Acts 5:17-29 and please come to one of our four “Grace Fests” expecting to be amazed by what Jesus does when his people gather!
I’ll see you on Sunday!
I love being your pastor! (It amazes me, actually!)