Lost Opportunities

Narrator: What would have become of Christianity if the disciples in the early church after Pentecost, had NOT exhibited that passionate wholeheartedness and bold exuberant enthusiasm for outreach and mission, as a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

What if they had cared more about their own reputations, comfort, respectability and preservation?

Here we see Peter and John sitting on a platform in the upstairs room about to open and lead their first Annual General Meeting...a year since the festival of Pentecost.

They are waiting for all the disciples to arrive.

Peter: What time do you make it John?

John: 10-48.

Peter: Who are we waiting for now?

John: About half of them!

Peter: Typical!

John: Typical!

Peter: What have we got down first on the agenda?

John: Well someone suggested opening prayers.

Peter: No let’s push it through and get things done quickly!

What else have we got on the agenda?

John: Minutes of the previous meeting.

Peter: We haven’t had one yet, John!

John: O.K. Matters arising.

Peter: There are no matters yet!

John: Treasurer’s report?

Peter: We’re skint! Next!

John: Well Item 1 now is a report on what we’ve achieved over the

year and which events stick out in our minds.

Peter: Mmm! Right we’ll start with that one, when the meeting opens.

It’ll be a tough one for this lot to answer! . . . The day of

Pentecost obviously stands out in my mind!

John: Oh yes ! Remember that ‘experience’...that ‘feeling’...the ‘glow’!

Peter: It changed my life...gave me a real spiritual injection in the arm’

No two ways about it.

John: I know what you mean, but I can’t help feeling that we should

have gone out into the streets then, and told the people about it!

Peter: Yes! And have everyone laugh at us, and call us drunks! We

were staggering all over the place!

John: The ordinary people in the street wouldn’t have understood us

anyway. It would have been like speaking a foreign language to

them.

Peter : John we WERE speaking in foreign languages!

John: Yes but no-one would have understood us, that’s my point!

Peter: But WHAT a praise service we had in that upstairs room that

day!

John: We’ve not experienced anything like that since, have we?

Peter: No that was a one off!

John: Do you remember that crippled man at the Beautiful Gate last

year, asking us for money? I mean, did we look as though we

were rich?

Peter: What was it I said to him? Something poetic like ‘Silver and

gold have I none!

John: Scrounger! There’s a lot of his sort in these days of financial

crisis and burgeoning debt!

Peter: Yes but don’t forget, if we’d stopped to chat to him, we would

have been late for the temple, late for worship!

John: Precisely!

It would have been nice over the last year to have seen a

few ‘signs and wonders’...you know crutches thrown away!

Peter: Yes I wonder whether we could have healed that nice couple

Ananias and Sapphira who dropped down dead in church.

John: Yes and they’d come to offer money to the cause hadn’t they?

Peter: I had this feeling they were holding some money back, but I

didn’t say anything. It would have been bad form!

John: Good job you didn’t! Then what would people have thought?

Peter: But I know what you mean...all those invalids in Solomon’s

Portico. . . now if only Jesus had been there!

John: You can’t help everyone Peter! Ministry is all risk!

Peter: Exactly! Just look what happened to Stephen! That’s bound to

come up in the meeting.

John: That was horrendous! You wouldn’t catch me upsetting the

council like that!

Peter: But Stephen only had himself to blame. A bit ‘over the top!’

John: Just a bit!( sarcastically) and very outspoken don’t you think?

Peter: No wonder they stoned him!

John: But we gave him a nice send off!

Peter: We did... I think we’re all here now. Better start the meeting.

John: By the way Philip emailed us the other day. Thought I’d better

warn you! He wants us all to consider a special request!

Peter: What kind of request?

John: It seems he’s had some success in SAMARIA, and needs

some help down there.

Peter: SAMARIA! What on earth possessed him to go there!

John: Beats me, but I have it on good authority that our brothers and

sisters are nominating us to go and assist him.

Peter: WHAT? Get your diary out quick! What have we got on?

John: Nothing much in the next few weeks!

Peter: We have now!

John: Yes, EXACTLY, we’ve got our own priorities haven’t we!

Peter: He thinks he’s the only one doing mission around here!

John: He started it, let him get on with it! Look they’re all here now!

Peter: Well we’d better get the meeting started...Order! Order!

Item 1 on the agenda John please?

John: (clears throat)... Looking back over the year what have

we achieved and which events stick out in our minds?

(long pause; they look over their spectacles at the congregation, for a response)

Peter: O.K. Let’s go on! Item 2 on the agenda?