"Meanwhile the apostles were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon's Hall, and they did many remarkable miracles among the people. The other believers didn't dare join them though, but all had the highest regard for them." - Acts 5:12-14
In the movie, "Jerry Maguire," the title character (played by Tom Cruise) experiences a crisis of conscience that gets him ousted from his job as a high-powered sports agent. Upon leaving his agency, Jerry Maguire makes an impassioned speech about the reasoning that fuels his plans to go independent as a sports agent. But after a moving display of all his passion, drive and chutzpah, Jerry Maguire can get only one of his co-workers to join him (and eventually only one client to stick with him) on his independent endeavor toward integrity.
Admiring people for what they do is one thing. Actually joining them is something else. The world is full of compliments. But very few (if any) who give the compliments will become comrades.
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, there were widespread accolades for the miracles performed by Jesus' disciples. The people knew that the disciples could be found daily at Solomon's Colonnade in the Temple area. But despite popular acclaim for the faith and the miracles of the disciples, no one joined the disciples at the Temple.
People loved what the disciples were doing-but no one joined them.
People clamored to experience the miracles wrought through the disciples-but no one joined them.
People commended, respected and esteemed the disciples-but no one joined them.
Bill Maher says that Jesus doesn't need any more fans; Jesus needs more followers. The church itself would be much better if there were less spectatorship and more discipleship; less congratulation and more participation.
What holds us back from actually joining people of purpose and committing to the causes we admire?
Let's examine our inertia and take a hard look at our "commitmentphobia." Real life is not a vicarious experience.
Dear God, may we experience your coming this season as the impetus that moves to become active in your work in the world. Amen.
From UCC's StillSpeaking devotionals. Visit UCC.org