Right in this City!
As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. 24 When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— 25 you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying,
‘Why were the nations so angry?
Why did they waste their time with futile plans?
26 The kings of the earth prepared for battle;
the rulers gathered together
against the Lord
and against his Messiah.’
27 “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. 28 But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. 29 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” – Acts 3:23-30
Where does God do his work? I’m in Tampa, Florida for The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) national convention this week and into next. There will be resolutions, reports, rallies, worship services, Bible studies, votes, resolutions, debates, more reports, resolutions, elections, debates, and resolutions. Did I say resolutions? Indeed.
I don’t want to minimize the impact of this convention. After all there are 6000 congregations in the LCMS, thousands of pastors, teachers, DCE’s, and other church workers, and some 2 million baptized souls in our church body. Decisions we make here will impact our relations as a church body with worldwide Lutheranism, with the rest of Christendom, and even the people of the world who care to pay any attention to what we say, and how we express the truths we hold so precious.
Make no mistake God will be doing his work here: through us, in us, around us, and sometimes in spite of us! But don’t think that the 2000 people here will monopolize God’s attention or limit the scope of his work. Peter makes the point that the treatment of Jesus by the Jewish leaders happened right where they were: “right in this city!” He tells of how the forces of the world and the religious leaders all aligned themselves to rebel against God and his Messiah.
We might easily think that God does his work only in the church building, or among large gatherings of his people. But God works in people’s hearts and lives each and every day. And when this convention is all over, I’ll go back to Cypress to reengage in mission right where we live, work, and play.
How about you? Do you see how God is at work right where you are; where you live, work, and play? I hope so…because he is!