Acts 1:1-5

Throughout the Easter Season, the daily devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church. Today’s writer is Karen Elsen.

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:1-5

This is the introduction to Luke’s second book, Acts.  His first book is the Gospel of Luke.  Both books are written for “Theophilus” perhaps a new initiate to the faith since Theophilus means “one who loves God.”  Luke’s stated purpose in writing the Gospel of Luke was to chronicle a carefully researched account of the life and ministry of Jesus.

Luke ends with Jesus leading his disciples out to the vicinity of Bethany where he blesses them.  “While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.” (Lk. 24:52)

The book of Acts takes up where the first book leaves off with Jesus’ disciples returning to Jerusalem, as Jesus had commanded, to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Acts is the chronicle of a small band of believers, empowered by the Holy Spirit, continuing the work Jesus had assigned them.  “…repentance and forgiveness will be preached in [my] name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.”  (Lk. 24:45-48)

In the remaining chapters and verses of Acts we follow them as they quickly begin to grow and establish the church.  We meet heroes of this movement as they persist despite hardships and persecution.  Luke’s second book ends with Paul telling the leaders of the Jews that the word of God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles “and they will listen.”

And now a sequel is being written—not by Luke, but by those who came after including saints like Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer,  Corrie ten Boom, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many more.  Such a book would include many lesser known saints, witnesses to all that God has promised and to the love and provisions and mercy of God—witnesses like you and me.

Let us pray:  Oh God, fill us with your Holy Spirit.  Show us how to love and serve all those to whom you send us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: