Monday, April 21, 2008

God on Earth "God's People In Active Stillness" "God's People In Active Stillness" Acts 1:12-14 Mateen Elass

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Imagine coming across a discovery of unparalleled magnitude for the well-being of the human race, and then being ordered to sit on it until you are commanded otherwise. How would you respond? The disciples are told to wait till they have received power from heaven – and so after Jesus’ ascension they turn to prayer, keeping the communication lines open with God. They actively wait, devoting themselves to listening and pleading with God – this time is characterized by unity of mind and heart, and by full inclusion of all Jesus’ followers – the apostles, the women (!), and Jesus’ mother and siblings (!). The mission of God is accomplished not simply by knowing the truth, but by following God’s leading.

Monday, April 14, 2008

God on Earth: The Sequel "The Last Lecture" Acts 1:6-11 Rev.John Gruel

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In the prologue to Acts Luke recounts Jesus’ final days with his apostles – that period between his resurrection and ascension during which he spoke to them about the kingdom of God, prepared them for the gift of Holy Spirit power, and commissioned them as his witnesses. In many ways this was his last opportunity to teach them, his “last Lecture,” a time to offer to them what mattered most to him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

God on Earth: The Sequel "The Gospel According to FPCE" Acts 1:1-5 Mateen Elass

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Luke introduces Acts as the sequel to his gospel, with the extraordinary implication that all that Jesus began to do in his earthly body up through his ascension he now continues to do in his extended body (the church). The upshot of this is that we must recast our often meager vision of the church and its mission in light of the fact that we are called together (bearing the life of Jesus) to be his agent of the gospel in meeting the needs of the world, just as he did in his earthly life. Of course, this calling is impossible in our own strength, and so we are commanded to receive and act in the power of the Spirit of Jesus - the Holy Spirit.