Uncertainty is a great description for life. Whatever is alive has both potential and realization. All sorts of opportunities lay before anything alive, plants, animals, people, whatever. Regardless of the range of choice, opportunity, or possibility is always part of what lies ahead.
Sometimes, possibilities and opportunities that we see aren’t what is realized. Often, as disciples especially, our Savior does the unforeseen. He makes the opportunity we did not see the next event. He can take what we thought impossible and make that happen.
But we do have choice within all this. Often, it’s a choice to either roll with it or fight it. Sometimes it’s a choice to keep or give up. With our Savior, He usually wants us to give up, and the unforeseen event drives directly at that choice. What do I mean? Well consider a group of 120 people who, in the space of a few hours, grew to a group of about 3,000.
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:37-42 NASB
How many seats were there in the upper room anyway? They were probably cramped at 120, to be honest. Who has a house that can hold 120 people? That’s not a house, it’s a mansion. Now they have 3,120 (about). How do you speak to such a group without a sound system, mics, speakers, amplifiers, and so on?
What will these 3,000 do for work, now that they are staying in Jerusalem. Where will they live? They were “continually” breaking bread. That’s a lot of bread. Where were they going to get that? Jesus fed 5,000 men, and then 4,000 men, but not daily. What has to happen here?
The ingathering of 3,000 souls is a lot of change to manage in a single day. I mean, it’s great. But it’s also overwhelming. There’s certainly no going back to the old ways of doing…well, pretty much anything. Gone is the cozy upper room where everyone was feeling a sense of awe. Now it’s feelings of overwhelm because not even 10% of the people fit in the upper room.
Luke doesn’t record many of the problems, but he does record a solution they came up with for one of the problems in Chapter 7. The deacons were chosen because Jewish widows from outside Judea were being overlooked in the daily food distribution. So, they weren’t solving these logistical issues perfectly, not at first. There was learning, growing, and adaptation that had to happen.
I think that’s our challenge today. I post these things at work as well, but I’m not sure where to post this entry at work anymore. They are retiring the one, and the new doesn’t seem to allow religious expression. We’re not sure our group will exist in the new company social network. How will we adapt to the new environment? We don’t know. So, what attitude should we have as we explore the way ahead?
Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:43-47 NASB
Our Savior doesn’t stop being amazing. He doesn’t stop being sufficient, sovereign, or powerful. We, His disciples, can remain in awe of Him, we can remain together, contribute commonly, focused on the needs of each other, being of one mind (the mind of Jesus Phil. 2:5), and continue worshipping Him.
There’s a way ahead, we just need to adapt to this new environment, and press on. Consider the creativity of the Creator of this universe, lying in an animal feed trough in a stable. The way ahead may be unexpected. Let’s roll with it.