“Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not speak about what we have seen and heard.” What powerful words spoken by Peter and John knowing that they could likely be imprisoned and never heard from again. What a testament to their conviction and courage to stand up and openly proclaim the good works of the Lord.
History is replete with stories about people of courage who take a stand and do what is right in the face of immense pressure to sit silently on the sidelines. Where would Americans be today if not for colonial statesman Patrick Henry who, in the days leading up to the Revolutionary War, gave his famous quote, “Give me liberty or give me death”? Would America still be a colony of England? What would it be like today if not for equal rights icon Rosa Parks in 1955, who refused to go to the back of the bus? Would segregation still be the rule of law in parts of America?
With Lent now in our rear view mirror let us not forget the change that so many of us tried to effect during our 40 day journey; to become more Christ like. To personally live out the example that Christ set for us with his life and to stand up for what we know in the sight of God is the right course of action to follow; whether that be in thought, word or deed.
What is your level of resolve and courage? Are your convictions of such strength that you are willing to publically declare your position or do you still sit on the sidelines and let others direct the conversation, both in tone and in content? Are you willing to take action without regard for what someone might say about you or are you still standing on the sidelines?
It is doubtful that what any of us do will rise to the historical level of Patrick Henry or Rosa Parks, but in the sight of God our willingness to stand up for what we know is right and stand up against what we know is wrong is, to God, even more powerful. For it is in our combined willingness to voice our belief in God and to share his love with those around us that we not only serve God but we can carve out our place in history. The history that is most important of all, God’s history.