Tonight our inter-cultural group discussed Acts in terms of our South African context. Earlier this year I was part of a two-day conference where we discussed the same issues. The difference between the two discussions are immense. At the first discussion we were a homogeneous group of white ministers (mostly white).
This evening was heterogeneous group with male and female representation. It was truly amazing to listen to contextual interpretations from the squatter camp and the suburbs. In Acts 1:8 we read about God's vision of empowerment in order to cross boundaries and how this empowerment was a response to their attempt to turn God into an ethnic in-group affair … again. Acts 1:8 starts with but …
This but leads us into God's call to empower people to cross boundaries.
We talked about Acts 1:8 in South African context and how we're called to cross boundaries of suburbs, inner-cities, markets, malls and everything in between. At some point in our conversation it seemed as if our group were interpreting the command as Acts 1:8 as the rich people being sent.
Someone noted that all of us are being sent. Whether we're in the suburbs or the squatter camps. In South Africa we're sending and receiving and therefore we are crossing boundaries but others are also crossing boundaries towards us. It is the Spirit of God who helps in the crossing. This reminds me of a quote I read a few months ago:
"The Holy Spirit is the invisible third party who stands
between me and the other, making us mutually aware. Supremely and primarily he opens my eyes to Christ. But he also opens my eyes to the
brother in Christ, or the fellow-man, or the point of need, or the
heart-breaking brutality and the equally heart-breaking beauty of the
world. He is the giver of that
vision without whuch the people perish.
We so commonly speak about him as the source of power. But in fact he enables us not by making
us supernaturally strong but by opening our eyes.” – The Go-between God, John V