The Narrative of the Kingdom and Witness?
This past week we finished up our nine month journey through the book of Acts together at The Well. I had the privileged of preaching and summarizing the whole thing up this weekend.
Part of my sermon was on how challenging its been for me to watch the early church and see how everything that the early church did revolved around the task of witness. This is the narrative that defined their entire way of life.
The text that really shaped this was in Acts 1:8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Sprit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
I asked these questions:
- How fair is it of me to critique us for failing to do this well?
- How do we do at waking up each day and living the life that God has put before us with the understanding that, whether we like it or not, we live each day and each moment as a witness to a Risen Messiah?
- How do we do at taking our decisions, big and small, and filter them through the call to be his witnesses?
- How often to we step out from under that calling and live a different narrative?
And, as we look at the way that Luke shaped this book from a Birds eye view we see that he worked hard to make this point. Take a few minutes sometime to flip through the narrative of Acts. Luke intentionally starts the story in Jerusalem and it moves into Judea, into Samaria and then we end with Paul in Rome, which is symbolic of the ends of the earth.
You see, all the little stories in the book of Acts you know, the ones that make great sunday school lessons, seem to fall under this over arching theme. each of these stories does have significance, but they are missing something if they are not tied to witness.
- We can talk passionately about community, but if its not in the context of witness something is missing.
- We can talk about the need for the Holy Spirit. But if its not in the context of witness we miss something.
- We can talk about persecution. But if its not in the context of witness we miss something.
- We can talk about signs and wonders. But, if its not in the context of witness, we miss something.
You see, like I said, each of these things is important. For example, community is good for community sake. But its better and more complete when its driven by witness.
We cant separate them and far too often I think we, despite our good intentions, do just that.
Anyways you can listen to the sermon online if you feel so inclined.