The Book of ACTion
As the power of Pandemic fades, I’ve been repeatedly asking myself this question:
“What’s going to keep us together as we are increasingly able to come back together?”
For our wider American society, I don’t have a good answer. But when it comes to the church, I have a great answer: It’s the solid ground of the Scriptures, the Bible, God’s Word — that’s what’s going to keep us together!
In particular, throughout the summer months at Elmhurst CRC, we’re going to dive into the Book of Acts, a favorite of both of your pastors! The plan is to engage one chapter per week in an attempt to tap into the original-Holy-Spirit-energy that launched the Church into being. Sunday worship services and sermons will support this. We’ll begin this coming weekend with Acts 1.
Additionally, we’ll be releasing a weekly hour-long podcast (the first one is dropping today!) that allows for some freedom and flexibility to explore dimensions of the Bible that there simply isn’t time for in a twenty-minute sermon. Pastor Jeff, Caryn Rivadeneira, and I had a delightful and insightful time delving into what God is communicating in Acts 1.
I’d also love for you to subscribe to the Book of Acts Devotional Experience which also launched today. These bite-sized, 3-minute daily devos will be dropped to your phone each morning (Monday through Friday) around 7 a.m. and will be ideal preparation for the following Sunday’s worship service.
This sounds like a lot of Bible! Why are we doing all this? My pastor’s heart wants us to gather around the Word of God, the one thing that creates common ground and has the power to keep us together. Heaven knows, there’s been enough disagreement over presidential politics, masks, and vaccines to last a lifetime. It’s time to focus on the things that draw us together.
The church in the Book of Acts faced much tougher circumstances than we do now. They were a tiny minority movement awash in the sea of the vast Roman Empire. The first Christians had no money, no buildings, no resources. But after an initial period of waiting in obedience to Jesus’s command, they had the ultimate something: the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the main actor in the book of Acts. The Holy Spirit leads, guides, heals, mends, restores, whispers and directs. And — miracle of miracles — that same Spirit is alive and well today, filling the Church and filling up the hearts of believers one by one.
I believe the Book of Acts (or Book of Action as I like to call it) is just the right Word-of-the-Lord for us today. I’m praying that the post-pandemic church comes roaring back to life following in the footsteps of Peter, Mary, Stephen, Paul, Barnabas, Priscilla and Aquilla, and so many others graced by the hope of the Gospel. I’m so looking forward to counting ourselves in that good company.