God’s ways are not our ways. We discover this as a theme throughout the whole trajectory of the Bible. From Joseph and his brothers, to King David, from Mary and Joseph, to stories all the way back to Jacob and Esau, often God’s choices are not humans’ choices. Abraham and Sarah. The list goes on!
Where we see God’s ways not being our ways in the Bible is often in the context of fertility and progeny stories. Today’s story in the Old Testament is another one. Manoah and his barren wife speak to the angel of the Lord not once, but twice. The outcome of these visits is their child, Samson.
In almost every book of the Bible we see God working in mysterious or radically different ways than we thought possible, all to show that nothing can stop God’s will. God’s handiwork is that which rails against the system, breaks the rules, or beats the odds.
In Acts, which also picks up on this theme and runs with it, we see the Church spilling out into corners of the world few thought possible. In today’s passage in Acts 6, we see the armies of the word rallying and organizing. It is the ordination of the first deacons.
In order to clear their schedules some, the apostles gathered “seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” to help with the daily distribution of food. That will allow them to focus more on “prayer and to serving the word.”
Summer is winding down and the school year is upon us. Programs are gearing up at church. It is a busy time and a good time for me to delegate. The apostles had the good sense about when to draw a line and say “No.” Sometimes I wish I was better at empowering others and delegating.
Some extraordinary things happen in Acts when one held on to all the power. When power is shared, and it is truly God’s spirit who is in charge, extraordinary things happen. Amazing growth happens too. What would happen in our churches if we became better at letting go? Maybe letting go of the past. Letting go of power. Letting God truly be in charge. Recognize that it was God in charge all along.