June 6, 2019
Acts 1:9 (in context)
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
I once wrote a letter to the celebrated author, Max Lucado, to invite him to preach a Good Friday service. I knew it was a long shot. Needless to say I was stunned to receive a hand written note in reply. Near the end of the note were these words I’ll never forget:
“Life is like a book, filled with many chapters. Blessed is the person who knows the chapter and page in which they presently live. I am living in the chapter of family and as a result I am not taking outside speaking engagements at this time.”
Let’s just say it was the nicest and most memorable rejection I have ever received!
As we move into the celebrated Acts of the Apostles, we must heed this word. Is life just an endless cycling and circling of time, or are we headed somewhere? Do we fully grasp the chapter and page of the big story in which we presently live?
Time had a beginning and time will come to an end. The Bible faithfully reveals this story from beginning to end. Because of this I feel an urgency to invite you to delve into this book. The Bible is easily the most influential book in the history of the world. It is worthy of our highest focus and deepest attention. To be sure, it is a very complex book and it can be deadly when interpreted badly. We have been given one life to live and in this one life, one book towers over all others. I want you to be inspired to give yourself to a life long engaging relationship with this book, the Bible, and the one to whom it points and reveals. Don’t fall victim to the trite and arrogant question of how this book is “relevant” to your life. This book is without doubt, the most relevant book in the history of the human race. Let’s ask ourselves how our lives can become relevant to the story the Bible reveals.
So where do we find ourselves in the story?
Today’s text and the Ascension of Jesus takes us right up to the close of Act 4 and into the ten day intermission before the curtain rises on the final act of the story. Let’s rehearse the storyline so far: Act 1) Creation. Act 2) Devastation. Act 3) Israel. Act 4) Jesus.
As the curtain rises on Act 5 we find ourselves in a room with the Apostles and 108 other followers of Jesus. In this particular room on that particular day something so catastrophically incredible and so wondrously amazing happened the meaning of which we have still not managed to fully grasp. We will say much more of this in the days to come, but for now it will suffice to describe Act 5 in this way: The outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The end of the ages. The age of the Spirit. This is our chapter and page.
Grab your snacks. We are on the road trip to end all road trips.
COME HOLY SPIRIT
Are you guilty of asking how the Bible is “relevant to your life?” What would it mean to start asking how your life is “relevant” to the big story of God and the world as unfolded in the Bible?
For the Awakening,