God is at work in the courage and boldness of Peter and John and in their release and in the building up of the church. Upon their release from the Sanhedrin they return to share what happened with the community of believers.
And immediately after hearing about what God had done in and through Peter and John the believers who had gathered worship God. They pray acknowledging God as Sovereign Lord, Creator of all. They quote Psalm 2:1-2, a Psalm that refers to God’s “Anointed One,” the Messiah. The quote reminds us of the futility and foolishness of opposing what God has in mind, is about, and is doing. “The Gentiles or Nations raged against Jesus in the person of the Romans and the peoples who imagined vain things were His Jewish adversaries” (F.F.Bruce, The Book of Acts). Nonetheless, they were carrying out the plan of God. God was at work in the crucifixion of Jesus, for Jesus is the obedient servant of God even unto death on the cross.
In prayer, led by the Holy Spirit, they ask for greater boldness, for healings, signs, and wonders through the name of God’s holy servant Jesus. They want God to continue to use them even when they are threatened. And the Holy Spirit reminiscent of what happened on the day of Pentecost is at work in the external sign of shaking the place where they were meeting and in their prayerful attitude and worship.
What a community of believers we see at this point in the life of the young church. Grace abounds in the community of the church and spills over to all who are in need. Love, generosity, and compassion abound. What a church, what a people, what a moment of joy and wholeness.
Courage, boldness, a determination to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, love, grace and compassion were all alive in these Christ-Followers. In this fertile soil the church grows, individual Christians grow, and the Kingdom of God grows. Sovereign Lord, grow each one of us that we may serve you and others well, for the sake our Lord Jesus Christ.
And yet, it wasn’t a perfect church as we will see in the next chapter.