How to be Christian during a crisis (such as global pandemic) – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 5

How should Christians live in a liminal moment such as our current global health crisis? All week long we have been studying the life and ministry of Stephen, one of the earliest followers of Jesus, attempting to answer that question. If you want to learn more about Stephen, start by reading the first post here.Continue reading “How to be Christian during a crisis (such as global pandemic) – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 5”

One suggestion for surviving fear and pain: look outward – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 4

If you are feeling scared, anxious or even downright terrified by the news of the spread of the coronavirus, what should you do? I feel the weight of it myself. As a pastor of a small church, we’re having to rethink how we do everything, and it can feel like a heavy burden. We’re allContinue reading “One suggestion for surviving fear and pain: look outward – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 4”

What to focus on when you are in pain – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 3

When we’re in pain, usually we just want it to go away. At least that’s how I am. I can get very worked up emotionally, imagining that I’ll be in pain the rest of my life. So far, that thought of mine has never been true, as the pain heals. What it reveals is thatContinue reading “What to focus on when you are in pain – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 3”

Did Stephen make a mistake in his sermon? – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 2

How are we to live in liminal moments? As I write this, our world is in the throes of the coronavirus. As we saw in the previous post, the early church experienced a liminal moment of their own, the threat of punishment and persecution from the powerful religious leaders in the city of Jerusalem. HowContinue reading “Did Stephen make a mistake in his sermon? – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 2”

The coronavirus is our moment of liminality – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 1

I have a vocabulary word for you: liminality.  Have you heard of that word?  The dictionary defines Liminality as “a state of transition between one stage and the next, especially between major stages in one’s life or during a rite of passage.”  It is a threshold.  Sound familiar?  In the last week or two, doContinue reading “The coronavirus is our moment of liminality – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 1”

Important lessons from a food crisis – Acts 5-6:7, Part 5

I don’t really love food crises. At all. But there is one that happened among the first Christians that we can learn a lot from. The sad fact is that there should not have been a crisis at all. They actually manufactured the crisis because of their poor behavior, which might have been some racismContinue reading “Important lessons from a food crisis – Acts 5-6:7, Part 5”

How to introduce people to Jesus – Acts 5-6:1-7, Part 4

Do you ever struggle to talk about Jesus? Religion can be a very difficult thing to discuss. You might want to talk about Jesus, but it can feel awkward, especially when you’re not sure what the people you’re talking to think about faith. This week we’ve been studying Acts 5 through 6:1-7, a passage ofContinue reading “How to introduce people to Jesus – Acts 5-6:1-7, Part 4”

If you lie, you’ll die? – Acts 5-6:7, Part 3

Do you think the title of this post sounds harsh? I think it sounds very harsh. That’s why I put a question mark at the end of the title. But what does it refer to? If you lie, you die? It refers to the next section of Acts that we’re studying. So far this week,Continue reading “If you lie, you’ll die? – Acts 5-6:7, Part 3”

How the earliest Christians eradicated poverty – Acts 5-6:7, Part 2

Wouldn’t it be amazing if no one was poor? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone had enough? The first Christians found a way to get there! Let’s look at what they did, and perhaps we can make strides to eradicating poverty in our communities. To do that we need to move on to the secondContinue reading “How the earliest Christians eradicated poverty – Acts 5-6:7, Part 2”

Was the early church communist or socialist? – Acts 5-6:7, Part 1

I typed “crisis in the church” in Google’s image search, and what do you think most of the images depicted? The sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.  It’s an absolute mess.  I live in the Harrisburg (PA) Diocese, and it made national news recently when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Before weContinue reading “Was the early church communist or socialist? – Acts 5-6:7, Part 1”