26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.
32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
“‘You are my son;
today I have become your father.’
Big View: Person of Peace
Small View: Perception – Passing Relationships
Church of the Nazarene – Holualoa HI
Observation: I sit on the board of the local non-profit Comunidad Latina de Hawaii. We seek to build a welcoming community and create opportunities for immigrant communities to connect, integrate, and contribute to the wider community. The other day, I attended a meeting with an individual trying to connect the various social issues together. He described himself as a left wing Bernie delegate and an agnostic fatalist. He began to blame “those” Christians for the rise of Trumpism and the spread of fear. He then asked me what I do.
“I’m a pastor,” I replied.
He was clearly taken aback. “I’ve never met a Christian interested in more progressive issues before. How have you come to care about immigrant rights?”
And here, like Paul in Antioch, I had an opportunity to share the Gospel message of God’s reconciling love. I confessed that the church often has been blind to the plight of the poor and oppressed, but that the life of Jesus sought justice for the world.
After those very short sentences, I was interrupted and the conversation never flowed back. But I recognized an opening with an agnostic who is not afraid to ask questions, who engages freely, and was open to my presence.
Action: Sometimes, prayer is the best action. I will not see this person regularly. But I do know the Spirit goes before me, with me, and after me to tender the lives of our neighbors. May it be so with this man.