April 20

Acts 2:14a, 36-41

So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.” vs. 41

According to Luke the growth of the early Christian community was explosive, with 3000 persons being baptized in response to Peter’s sermon. While we might question Luke’s numbers and the impact of a particular sermon, there is little doubt that there was missionary zeal among believers from the very beginning. They’d been touched by the Holy Spirit of God and they believed the message they’d been given was meant to be shared with all people. According to tradition they went with the word in every direction, inviting people of every folk and nation to become a part of Christ’s Body. In our time there has been a slowing of that evangelistic enthusiasm among the followers of Jesus. There’s more a feeling of “live and let live” and almost a reluctance to reach out to others. Some of this may be a reaction to the evangelistic methods and message of the past, which is understandable, but it may also be an indication of an adaptation to our culture. With the move toward inclusion and understanding, we may no longer be convinced that being a follower of Jesus is a benefit to anyone. Perhaps it doesn’t make any difference what people believe, and if that’s the case, why even put ourselves out making the effort to share our faith with others? It’s a crucial question, one that folks claiming to be full of the Spirit should be seeking to answer!

Thought for the Day: What’s the point of baptism in our secular age?

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