Bible Passage: Acts 6:1-7
The disciples also experience internal tensions and threats. Cultural and ethnic discrimination and injustice crops up in the life of the church, needing to be addressed. We see that “systemic” patterns of inequity are possible even when it is not intended. We also see the importance of both word and deed ministry as new leaders are appointed for this important work of mercy and justice. The leaders who are chosen are not only people of wisdom and spiritual maturity, but they also represent the community of those being marginalized, both culturally and linguistically. Eventually, these cultural-barrier-breaking leaders are the ones God uses to push forward his mission into new frontiers. Stephen helps break the church beyond the temple and Jerusalem, and Philip later breaks the gospel through into Samaria and to the ends of the earth. God has a purpose in our ethnic and cultural identities and uses them to accomplish his purposes. As we see such threats and problems being dealt with in wisdom and the Spirit, the gospel advances (6:7).