Acts 1 - 4
Bible Time Period: The Church
The Church carries on your work in the world: Make me a faithful ambassador of your love.
Lord, Your mission statement to the Church to carry the Gospel of Salvation to the ends of the earth is the same mission that every professing Christian accepts in the Sacrament of Confirmation. In that sacrament our souls are sealed by the Holy Spirit in the sacred covenant bond of that commissioning as we willingly take up the same mission You gave to the Apostles and disciples at the time of Your Ascension into the heavenly realm. In our study of Acts of the Apostles, inspire us with the stories of Your faithful disciples and Apostles that we too, empowered by Your Holy Spirit, might march forth in our homes, communities and nations to advance the cause of the Gospel and Your gift of eternal salvation. We pray in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In the period of Messianic Fulfillment, we reached the pinnacle of our journey, the climax toward which the entire story has pointed. Who would have guessed that God Himself would come to Earth as a man, or that he would suffer and die so that the demands of the covenant would be met and all his scattered children could be reunited in Him? Who would have guessed that Satan’s fiercest weapons – suffering and death – would be transformed into the very door to eternal life? It is hard to fathom the depths of God’s love for us.
It would seem that the story is over. The promises are fulfilled, the problems solved. And yet something very important remains. The disciples Jesus left on Earth, and all those who follow, are invited to become part of the story and enter into the new kingdom that Jesus founded here and which will reach its own perfect fulfillment in heaven at the end of time. “This is the new covenant in my blood,” he said at the Last Supper. God has been building his family through covenants since the start of the story. Now the whole world will be invited in.
Acts 1:8 provides us with a structure for our reading: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” This describes three “waves of witness” that begin in the city of Jerusalem and expand outward as the Apostles and other disciples proclaim the good news of the Gospel farther and farther afield.
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