Empowered for Jesus’ Mission
“The story of Jesus doesn’t end with Jesus. It continues in the lives of those who believe in him. The supernatural does not stop with Jesus. Luke makes it clear that these Christians he wrote about were no more spectators of Jesus than Jesus was a spectator of God – they are in on the action of God, God acting in them, God living in them. Which also means, of course, in us (Eugene Peterson).”
“What can we learn from a group of people that lived so long ago?” I was once asked this question when I proposed studying the book of acts with a small group of people. The point the person was trying to make (I think) was that todays world is so different, so out of tune with God, so postmodern, that it seems like a stretch to believe that the story of the first century church presents something that today’s church can relate to or learn from. “Isn’t our context too radically different?”
It is an honest question. Is the world so changed today that the practices of the first followers would naturally seem outdated, old, stale, and unusable? It is tempting to fall into the trap that says we need a new theology, practice, information or technique if we are going to change the world. It is also easy to follow the idea that proclaims “Society has left the church behind. We need to look forward and develop something new, not get caught up in something that was first used over 2,000 years ago.” I believe all these ideas are a mistake.
The book of Acts at its heart is not about how the church acts or organizes itself. It is about how The Holy Spirit moves in the lives of people to do the miraculous – transform a dead world. It is not the acts of the church (despite what Christian publishers might say) but the Acts of a God who simply will not stop trying to reconcile and save people. It is the powerful story of how God moves in this world – despite culture, worldviews, animosity, and competition- to constantly reveal the Good News that brings light and salvation.
This is why I am so excited to announce that our summer worship series is “Empowered for Jesus’ Mission.” Throughout this summer we will be examining the story of how the Holy Spirit empowered the first followers to change the world. Starting June 2nd, each week we will read a story from the book of Acts and discover how we too can be Empowered for Jesus’ Mission.