Friday, March 21, 2008

Luke Twenty-Four, final reading.

Here we are on the last day of Lent and the last journal entry from the Gospel of Luke. I hope it has been a good exercise for you. I am curious about how effective this has been so I added a couple survey questions on the right. Many of you have not been commenting within the blog entries but you've been reading along. Would you please take a minute and answer the questions for me?

Now that we've completed the Luke journal, I hope to expand the nature and subject matter of this blog so we can keep the conversation going. Thanks for all of you who had added your comments along the way. Traci, you get the prize for being the most consistent commenter. We've enjoyed your emotion and honesty. I hope to hear from more of you as I try to spark greater conversation in the future entries.

Reading: Luke 24.36-53

Scriptures: Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." - Luke 24.45-49

Observations: Jesus' final words launched his followers into their future. He gave them their core mission and the message that was to be preached. But his words included a promise too. Jesus was not going to send them into the future alone, they were to receive power from on high for the task before them, and they were to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the promised Holy Spirit. The Book of Acts picks up where the Gospel of Luke ends. Luke's sequel takes the story from Jerusalem to the corners of the Roman Empire.

Apply: Luke's story of Jesus that began with an angel's visit to the young virgin mother ends with him ascending into heaven after promising to send the Holy Spirit to his followers. But truly, it was not the end at all. The story of Jesus is still a living story that is continuing to be written though the actions of his followers, who are His presence on earth today.

So I ask myself: How am I adding to His story? Where will I take Jesus that he has yet to go? Am I continuing to be open to the Holy Spirit's presence and power for the mission he has for my life?

Prayer: Thank you Jesus for fulfilling the mission the Father had for you. And thank you for those who came after you and fulfilled the mission you had for them. As you were sent, so you sent your followers. Now I understand that the baton has been passed to my generation. May I carry it in a way that accurately reflects your grace and displays your sacrificial love for this broken world.


traci said...

I look around at us ALL and wonder, "what is it that we are adding to 'His story'" - I think into the future of the church and wonder what names will be familiar from the "HIS story" of OUR era - like Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, and so many others (remarkable) folks who have changed history and who have inspired me personally -
I especially look at our children, I imagine (on my worst days) that THEY are the sole reason for our existance in "HIS story" never know - could be...LIFE is like that.
His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog.
Tere, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.
'I want to repay you,' said the nobleman. 'You saved my son's life.'
'No, I can't accept payment for what I did,' the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.
'Is that your son?' the nobleman asked.
'Yes,' the farmer replied proudly.
'I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.' And that he did.
Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.
Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia.
What saved his life this time? Penicillin.
The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name?
Sir Winston Churchill.

KS said...

Thanks Bill for all the work you put into this blog. I found it a great way to focus my thoughts and to dig deeper in the word.

Steve said...

Your mention of the book of Acts brought to mind a picture of Peter preaching to the crowds where 3000 were saved. The same Peter who had denied knowing Jesus not so very long before.
This picture of the awesome power of the Holy Spirit has been a source of great hope in my life when I have acted very Peter-like.