Hunkered Down Devotion

Acts 12:24 (Voice)
24 Through all this upheaval, God’s message spread to new frontiers and attracted more and more people.

Acts 12:24 comes toward the end of a chapter describing difficult times for believers in Jesus.  The disciples, as they are trying to live into their call to spread the good news and share God’s love, are facing all sorts of trials and tribulations.  

Their persecution comes at them from all sides, and here it is coming predominantly from King Herod.  The chapter begins with these words, ‘Back in Jerusalem, the disciples came upon hard times.’  Herod snatches members of the community in order to hurt and intimidate them, Peter is arrested (we read about that yesterday), and more trouble comes their way.

At the end of the chapter, while the persecution is still an issue, the focus has shifted to a regional dispute between Jerusalem and some of the other nearby areas, but Herod remains at the center of all the action, continuing to wreak havoc and harm.  

And then, at the end, we have this beautiful, amazing, confounding, and comforting verse.  While this verse comes at the end of a specific set of circumstances and is describing a historical fact about a specific place and time, it is also a message to all of us and, in fact, to the whole world, the universe even, about the inevitability of God’s love and grace.

I love how this verse is just attached, almost as an afterthought, like it is so obviously true that it doesn’t even really need to be said.  But it does need to be said.  We need to say it. We need to hear it.  

Through all the upheaval then, all the upheaval now, and all the upheaval that has or will ever be, God’s message and God’s love and grace will continue to spread to new places, and new people.  We get to be ambassadors for that love and that message.

Sharing God’s Love, 

Prayer: Lord, remind us of your good news and use us to share it with others.  Amen.  

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