Christina Lui - “Preach to the Council, then worship in jail”
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Christina Lui (a resident of The Menno Simons Centre and a graduate student at Regent College) gave her maiden sermon, speaking on the theme of transformation as found in the story in Acts 4. In the previous week's story (Acts 3), Peter healed the lame beggar at the temple gates, causing a sensation which rippled right into the temple itself. Consequently, in Acts 4, Peter and John were brought before the authorities, in part because Peter was preaching the resurrection, something the Sadducees did not believe was possible. In his defense, Peter brazenly accused the council of orchestrating Jesus's crucifixion, and then told them they were utterly wrong about Jesus because none other than God had just raised Jesus from the dead. Although threatened by the authorities, who were fully capable of engineering imprisonment and worse, Peter shrugged off the threats and continuing his arguing. Christina noted the role of transformation in this story. Through the power of God's Spirit, two uncertain and definitely unschooled fishermen were transformed into recklessly bold and persuasive debaters of theology. God's Spirit transformed a lame beggar into a healthy man, from a beggar to be avoided into someone whose sudden state of wholeness confounded even the Sadducees and became the hottest topic of conversation and speculation. Are we open to being transformed? Are we open to being witnesses? One member commented that we are all called to testify to our faith, and, if absolutely necessary, to use words. [JEK]