Our lives are lived in weariness. Weariness is the daily context of life for many Americans. Many unmarried are weary of loneliness. Many married are weary of "let's pretend," faked relationships. Many parents are weary of unappreciative children. Many children are weary of parents who do not comprehend their world. Many are weary of pleasure's emptiness. Many are weary of hypocrisy. Most of us are weary of the illusions of the American lifestyle. Most of us are just plain tired, and the future's road appears to wind through exhaustion.

If we conclude weariness in "postmodern" American culture is unique, we deceive ourselves. Acts' second sermon was delivered to Israelites assembled at the Jerusalem temple. Israelites had a 1500 year history of weariness: the weariness of Egyptian slavery, the weariness of the exodus, the weariness of Canaan's conquest, the weariness of the judges' rule, the weariness of the kings, the weariness of a divided kingdom, the weariness of the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles, the weariness of the return to their homeland, and the weariness of Roman occupation.

Peter's first sermon (Acts 2) emphasized God [by intent and design] made Jesus Lord and Christ. Peter's second sermon (Acts 3) emphasized Israel's need to repent. God's people needed to repent! God's chosen people needed to repent! Abraham's descendants, heirs of God's promises, needed to repent!

What an emphasis! Why not talk to people about (a) idolaters' need to repent or (b) atheists' need to repent or (c) wicked Israelites need to repent or (d) rebellious Israelites need to repent or (e) unethical Israelites need to repent? Did not those groups need to repent? Certainly!

Then why tell people assembled to pray to the living God they needed to repent? (1) If other people needing repentance repented, their repentance could not remove these people's need to repent. (2) The people at the temple could not have their sins "wiped away" unless they repented. (3) They could not experience God's "times of refreshing" unless they repented.

The long journey of weariness would continue if these people who believed in God, who assembled because of faith in God, who came to pray to God refused to repent. God could end their journey into weariness if they allowed Jesus to be their Christ. To accept the fact that Jesus was the Christ was not enough. They had to allow Jesus to be Christ in their relationship to God.

For the same reasons, we desperately need a total redirection of life. God cannot replace our weariness with the "time of refreshing" until we permit Jesus to be Christ in our lives. As long as Jesus Christ is nothing more than a fact, our journey into weariness will continue.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 24 September 2000

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