Today’s Reading: Acts 3
When a big event is over and life starts up again, how do we cope? How does that look? Or how do we look?
After an inspiring Sunday church service, Monday will be there. Monday is always coming. There will be no lights, no band, no greeters at the door, no hugging . . . because it’s Monday and we have a job and a schedule to keep.
The biggest event in church history after the cross and resurrection is the day the Holy Spirit fell upon the church—called the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the church, which we read about in Acts 2. Fire touched them, the church was started, and people were changed.
And what came after, which we read about in Acts 3, is monumental. It is a great guide for us on how to look at Mondays:
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. (Acts 3:1-8)
Look at verse 1 again: “Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer.” After the most powerful move of God in the church, the church went back on schedule.
The ninth hour is 3 p.m., the normal hour of prayer in the Jewish culture. God put them back on schedule. They started attending the normal prayer meeting. That is insightful. They became 3 p.m. Christians.
What is a 3 p.m. Christian? It is a Christian who was touched by the Holy Spirit in a special setting but now takes that new touch and brings it into their everyday environment and schedule. They are new people in the same old place. A 3 p.m. Christian comes to the same places with a different heart and different perspective. God doesn’t change places, He changes the person.
Acts 3 determines if Acts 2 is real. Real life determines if the experience and change are real. Monday behavior is a great test of Sunday inspiration.
What happened to the disciples? One thing that was very noticeable was that the ordinary started to look extraordinary. They received new eyes. That lame man wasn’t new, he had been placed there every day from the time he was a kid. They passed that guy, but today he looked different. He looked like a candidate for a miracle.
One of the best tests for us is that we will notice people: when God touches us, then we love people—not just God—better. It isn’t a true work of God if we don’t treat people better. The ordinary and the common should start looking different—from the people in Starbucks to our spouses and our kids to our bosses to our coworkers.
God didn’t change you for church. God changed you for life—everyday life, Monday life. He changed you to be a 3 p.m. Christian.