Daring to be in Church.
“No-one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.”
This is a great accolade for what was happening in the church at that time, ‘no-one else dared join them’.
We understand fully through the many disappointments of our witness the many who decide not to join us simply because they don’t want to.
However, that is a long way away from what was happening in this early Church.
Let’s remind ourselves what was happening.
1. Ananias and Sapphira died suddenly because of their lie over their giving. They died on the pronouncement of the Church leader.
2. The church was meeting out in the open in full gaze of the religious authorities worshipping Jesus who not so long ago these same authorities had sentenced to death.
So if you were going to join this church you needed to have great courage. You needed to dare to join because it is likely it would consume your all.
In contrast people can attend church today without joining anything. They attend and throw some coins into the offering plate, they nod at the image of Christ and the miraculous never ends their mind. It is safe.
A few months ago I had the privilege of being in northern Nigeria with the Elim churches. They gather at their buildings on a Sunday at 7am. To enter the building they are scanned by security police. They disperse immediately afterwards at 10am. They do all this because of the threat of Boko Haram who are targeting the church. To join the church in northern Nigeria takes real courage.
“Will you dare join us?” is a question often asked.
It sounds scary and it is. It sounds very risky and it is.
But this is the Church. A Church that is not safe. A Church that demands everything. You have to be strong to be a Christian here.