The Acts of the Apostles is a continuation of the story from Luke. Here is the bridge that takes us from what Jesus began in his lifetime to what his disciples will do to continue his teachings and establish the church. Scholars point out that the historical detail and the realistic descriptions presented in this book combined with Luke’s linguistic skills make this a rich telling of the history of our church. (NIV Study Bible)
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”. Acts 1:4-5
Just imagine the excitement and anticipation of the disciples at this time. But I also imagine that there must have been fear of the unknown, questions about where this discipleship would take them, and anxiety for their own safety and the safety of their friends. We know how this story goes. We know of the betrayal, we know of the physical pain and death and we know the life everlasting and the Holy Spirit. When I realize how those first disciples grew the church as followers of Christ’s teachings with the hardships and the unknown that they faced, I have it pretty easy with our beautiful church building that is filled with people of strong faith. And yet, I have to pause and reflect when I read a church sign down the street that says “If you knew Christ was returning tomorrow, what would you do today?”
Dear Lord, we pray that we will be the disciples that follow You through the good and the bad. We pray that our discipleship holds us steady through the fears and anxieties of the world today and that our neighbors and friends will know we are Christians by our acts, words and deeds. Amen.