S (Scripture): Acts 4:1 While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them. 2 They were incensed that the apostles were teaching the people and announcing that the resurrection of the dead was happening because of Jesus. 3 They seized Peter and John and put them in prison until the next day. (It was already evening.) 4 Many who heard the word became believers, and their number grew to about five thousand.
O (Observation): Acting in the name of Jesus Christ is hazardous to the well-being of Peter and John. Why? Because the message of Jesus Christ – raised – bucks the system in place for the church officials. If Jesus is God’s Son and brings Resurrection, then their understanding of God is challenged completely. This is blasphemy. Only God, the Unknowable, is all powerful. Who Jesus was did not fit into the understanding of the officials, and so, Jesus’ followers were also to receive challenge: imprisonment.
A (Application): Our challenge to follow Christ (in America) is not to be imprisoned externally, but to seek freedom from the prisons we impose upon ourselves. The world says we only have so much money and land and time. So, we must control these and use them to our advantage. That is the prison we find ourselves in. Especially around Christmas time. And yet…
We follow God, the one to bring Jesus to Resurrection. We burst forth from the prisons we create for ourselves: we give our money and land and time as faithful stewards. In this, we receive bountiful blessings and an attitude of abundance! We may not get imprisoned, but we will be pressured to re-think our generous attitudes.
Let them critique! We are about changing this world one prayer and healing at a time in order to set free our minds and hearts from their prisons.
P (Prayer): Lord, give us the strength and wisdom to be generous. Amen.