by Rev. Dr. Cecelia A. Walker
Director of Pastoral Care
Princeton Baptist Medical Center
But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” ---Acts 4: 19
For as long as I can remember I have loved God … that fact has less to do with me and much more to do with the family, church, community and schools that nurtured me. I was surrounded by people who lived out the faith they professed responsibly and responsively. They had such passion for God and Christ-like living that it encouraged me and others to “go and do likewise.” As I grow older I find myself sometimes waxing nostalgic, remembering some of the profound lessons learned that continue to impact, inform and influence what I cherish, choose and commend.
We live in a time where it seems that values and appreciation for what’s really important have hit an all time low and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Things seem to have “changed”, but I am reminded that our Scriptures declare that “there is nothing new under the sun.” There have always been people who did not value faith, who did not consider living an honest life important and who had no respect for the sanctity of life vying for our attention.
Our focus should not be on what’s wrong with the world, but on Christ – the Hope of glory. The context surrounding the Scripture quoted above demonstrates Peter and John being witnesses of Jesus in spite of persecution. They had a story to tell … and so do we. Sharing how Jesus has blessed our lives yields many positive results.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is credited with having said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Some may want to silence the testimony of believers, but we have a mandate to be witnesses “telling people about Jesus everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth." As we fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, we will overcome darkness by the Word of our testimonies.
Lord, we admit that sometimes we are overwhelmed by the darkness of the world in which we live. Thank You for the assurance that there is nowhere we can go that You are not present, and nothing that we will encounter that You can not handle. We give You our hands to lead and guide us. Thank You for Your Word, which gives us the light we need for each step we make. In Your Name, we pray. Amen.