It’s funny how you can look at a situation from two different angles and have a completely different feeling n the event. For example I remember be about eight years old and going to the public swimming pool with my older teenage cousin. While she was conversing with a friend, I managed to slip on the stairs descending into the pool. After the splashing and flailing were over we both had two tales. I claimed to have almost drowned. She claimed that I was splashing and recklessly horsing around.
In college I remember having a different outlook of the disciples in the book of Acts. My friends and I thought Peter and Paul were the bomb. Us guys were like girls but instead of trying to discover if we were an autumn or a fall, we tried to figure out if we were a Peter or a Paul. We wanted to be more like the group f early Christians in the book of Acts. They lived together having everything in common and sharing with those that had need. Surely since they knew Christ alive their theology was flawless.
We would have been astounded by the faith and prayer of Acts 12. Isn’t it grand that instead of taking up arms for battle in Paul’s imprisonment they sought the power of God through prayer. What mighty spiritual warriors these were. The church as a whole would be better if they would align themselves with the thoughts and practices of the early church. The church would have command of God’s mighty angels to do His work miraculously on earth.
It’s interesting as I look at the chapter now. It doesn’t look near as rosy and glossy to me. Maybe it has taken time to realize that leaders are flawed and that’s not bad but a part of the human condition. Only Christ had it all together all the time. I now notice in the chapter that Herod was ferociously killing Christians and the Jews loved it. When Paul was thrown in prison the believers weren’t mightily seeking the will of God, they were freaking out as they attempted to stay alive one more day. They didn’t know what else to do but pray. Theology? There wasnt formal theology. There was the desire to stay alive.
This early record HAS been recorded for a reason though. What is it? How do I learn from the early church? Where do I part ways with their example and understand that the time and work God has laid out for me is unique to the time and work of Paul and Peter?