more missionary stories

I am working through the book of Acts (the 44th book in the Bible) for a seminar I am leading with Leadership Development Network.
Its fascinating to approach the book as a whole, as opposed to looking at a small section of it for a sermon, to see the forest as well as the trees.
Like many people, I’ve seen this book as the one where the Holy Spirit shows up, and introduces all kinds of zany stuff.
Which has led to debates and tensions over how that Spirit stuff fits in the church today.

Meanwhile, it is not the Spirit that is coming to the forefront as I read the book as a whole.
Instead I am seeing the rapid expansion of the kingdom of God, as directed by Jesus from the throne of the universe, through the power of the Spirit, through the testimony of His followers.
And I am seeing the mission of God, through Jesus, through the Church.
From Judea to Samaria to Rome, and to the ends of the earth.
From Jewish origins to the global village embodied in Rome, to all the peoples of the world.

And then I see the different sections as missionary stories, all contributing to the one missionary story.
Someone has referred to Acts 29 (there is no chapter 29, we are chapter 29), our own missionary stories that we represent today, and throughout history.
Like Peter, like Paul, I am also being thrust into the world by the Spirit to testify to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, to the world order He came to establish through His death and resurrection, and to the life, the joy, the peace and the hope that result from living in this world with God, with Jesus.

So what missionary story am I a part of today?
Or am I huddling in Jerusalem, resisting the Spirit’s tug to leave my comfort zone and reach out to the peoples and places around me.
Am I staring up in the clouds, like the disciples right after Jesus left them, instead of moving on in the power of the Spirit to bring Jesus to the world.

This is awesome, I am enjoying this whole book study!

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