Considering all of the self-help gurus and the many motivational speakers of our time, it is no secret; people want to hear words of encouragement and prosperity. There is also a public thirst for words of freedom and joy. Yet, when it is the church that proclaims such words as the result of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the world works hard to silence the very message it longs to hear. Why would the world be so opposed to the good news of Jesus Christ? The answer is easily summed up; because of sin, humanity thinks it can save itself. And so in an act of defiance, sin seeks to silence the church.
When Peter and John were ordered by the authorities to cease proclaiming Jesus as the resurrected Lord, those in opposition to the gospel thought they had silenced them. Yet, Peter and John along with the other apostles prayed for courage and boldness. They prayed the Holy Spirit would give them power to proclaim Jesus as the Christ. God answered their prayers and the church grew rapidly.
Today, the world still seeks to silence the church; there seems to be little tolerance for the Christian message of hope and salvation. Yet, emboldened by the same Holy Spirit, the church continues the gospel proclamation. Just as Jesus taught the apostles, so they teach us. Pray for boldness and courage.
Come Holy Spirit; fill us with your word and send us to proclaim the gospel in boldness and truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.