18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Hey, new church family!
Some of you already know me from my time around town and Winter Retreat, but I’m Brendan. I’m so very excited to get to work alongside Sarah as we figure out the next steps in College Ministry on campus at UTSA next year. This is a big change of pace from youth ministry for me, but I’m looking forward to it and humbled by the opportunity to serve.
The transition out of youth ministry has been a difficult one for me. It was a process that in reality has been in motion for a couple of years now, but the effects of the pandemic really ramped that process up. Grieving the loss of what I thought was going to be a part of the rest of my life had me looking back on the life that had led me to that point. And in that reflection, my favorite story in the Bible came back up. John and Peter are standing before the Sanhedrin, the same group who just weeks prior had orchestrated the crucifixion of Jesus, and defying their orders.
It’s easy to see why a teenage boy would like this story. The heroes of the story are being headstrong and defiant. Of course a teenager is going to love that! But as I have grown and (hopefully) gained more understanding of both the world and God, I see where the real power is in the statement Peter and John make. They are not defiant for defiance sake. They are not defiant because they know they are right. Really, defiance isn’t the focus of their statement at all. It’s the acknowledgment of the power and the love that they have seen and received from Jesus.
I’m still very much dwelling on and trying to remember the good lessons we were given the opportunity to learn throughout the pandemic. Lessons of rest, not overly busying ourselves, empathy, kindness, our need for each other. Unfortunately, those lessons often came through hardship we were unprepared to handle. But I’m willing to bet that I’m far from the only one that, over the last year and a half, has a renewed catalog of stories of what I have seen and heard God do in my life. And I am so excited to be a part of a community that together won’t stop talking about those stories. Not for defiance sake. Not for the sake of being the one who is right. But because through these hardships, we have seen the love and power of the same one who showed that love and power to Peter and John. And I can’t wait to share those stories with college students alongside all of you. So if you know a college student at UTSA next year, make sure they know The Wesley Foundation would love to have them around!
Grace and peace,