Almost 2000 years ago, on the stairs of the temple, the apostle Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed an enormous crowd saying: ‘Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘ “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.””
Not long after, 3000 people decided to start following Jesus and they were baptised.
Today, 2000 people who have called on the name of Jesus and are determined to “preach Christ faithfully to the nations” (Gafcon 2018 theme) sat together to do church on the temple stairs. We sung and prayed together and heard of the great sermon Peter preached. It was a wonderfully moving time – to think, we were doing church on the actual steps where Jesus walked into Jerusalem.
What was most incredible though, was that we were surrounded by Muslim and Jewish people who were listening. Listening to the good news of Jesus Christ being proclaimed. A whole Muslim family stood looking out from a window in the wall. It was a beautiful moment where the theme of this Gafcon was being played out in the providence of God.
All this made me very excited and reminded me of Campbelltown. We do not need to go far from our church to preach Christ to the nations. Walk down Queen St. Go to the Anglicare Mobile Pantry on Wednesday. Come to ESL on Thursdays. Take a look around in your street! The nations are among us. Let us take up Gafcon’s urging and together, preach Christ faithfully just as Peter did on those stairs.