April 18

Acts 5:27-32

“But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority.’” vs. 29

The religious authorities hadn’t gotten rid of their Jesus problem by killing him. In fact the movement, in the days following the crucifixion, blossomed anew, only this time there wasn’t just one leader, but many.  And they were uncontrollable, preaching and teaching in the temple, healing the sick, doing exactly the same things that Jesus had done. And when ordered to be quiet, they spoke up all the more–they would be obedient all right, but not to any human authority. From now on this little band of renegades would be led only by the Holy Spirit of God, and their influence spread over all the earth. Of course authorities of all kinds are still trying to get control of believers–politicians love to have them on their side and governments like to think of themselves as Christian. They’re always looking for churches to give them a stamp of approval. Now believers know that there is a place for governments and politics, after all, someone has to build roads and sewers and run the police forces. And governments can be enlisted to help feed the poor and care for the earth–they do have enormous resources that can be used for good. But the first allegiance of every true believer is to Christ, the Incarnate Divine Presence, and not to any politician or national leader.  And in Christ the broken are healed and the poor hear the good news–the mission of Jesus continues.

Thought for the Day: When is civil disobedience warranted?

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