Be Still Know
READ: Acts 6.1 NLT
‘But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.’
If you have ever been part of a church or other human organisation you will know exactly what is meant by rumblings of discontent! They are part of life and are exhausting. It isn’t open war, but it isn’t something that can be brushed to one side either. The problem on this occasion was a practical one but it was clearly causing great unhappiness. The church in Jerusalem was composed of Jews from different backgrounds. Some of them had always lived in the Jerusalem area and spoke Hebrew or Aramaic, but there were others who had lived in neighbouring countries and largely spoke Greek. Some of the latter had come to live in Jerusalem at the end of their lives and were far from their families and so were particularly vulnerable.
The response of the apostles gives us a good model as to how to handle rumblings of discontent. Firstly, they acted quickly. So often, in my experience, people live with the hope that, if they ignore a problem, it will go away. This is rarely the case. The action they took was to appoint seven people to oversee the distribution of the food, to ensure that fairness prevailed. This would then release the apostles to get on with their central work of prayer and preaching.
It interests me that the qualifications for performing this practical task were that the selected people should be full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit. This is a helpful reminder that every role in the life of a church is spiritual. I sometimes hear people talking about the different jobs that need doing in a church as if some are spiritual and others are practical. It is not so. Every role is spiritual and, as people do the many practical tasks that need to be done, it is vital that they are full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit.
QUESTIONS: Why is it so crucial that church work should be done by people who are full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit?
PRAYER: Lord God our Father help us to be wise in responding to rumblings of discontent. Fill us with your Spirit as we serve you. Amen
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