Acts 4:1-22

Today’s devotional is written by Julie Mitchell.

Acts chapter 4 continues a story of the lame man who begins to walk, then leaps, and ultimately sings the praises of God. These actions create a crowd around Peter and John who take the opportunity to share the miracle that Jesus performed. Because Peter and John were proclaiming the great news (the resurrection of Jesus), the priests and Sadducees had the temple guards arrest them. And, while we might get stuck at this point in the story, what is so noteworthy is that while Peter and John were, indeed, arrested, the Gospel was not! The Apostles were merely planting seeds to be cultivated and nurtured.

As confident witnesses filled with the Holy Spirit (even in a 70:2 situation where Peter and John were clearly outnumbered by the council), Peter mounts a masterful defense: he quotes Psalm 118:22 and applies the message to Jesus. “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

Master artist, Vincent Van Gogh, spent a year in a mental hospital in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France. During his time of crisis, Van Gogh created about 150 paintings, including the infamous Starry Night.  In essence, Van Gogh’s confinement is epitomized by creating and healing through art: painting. 

Think of a time when you were “imprisoned,” marginalized, excluded, or shunned by others. Were there moments during that time when the Holy Spirit filled you with powerful words, actions, and thoughts?

Peter and John did not cave to the powerful council before them.  Reflect on a time that you stood up for what is right even if you seemed to be standing alone.

Please share your thoughts, comments, and questions.

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