“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” vs. 8
After Jesus’ death and resurrection the disciples still had the parochial notion that his mission had been simply a prelude to the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. That was as much as they could comprehend. But Luke reports that Jesus’ last words to them set the stage for an expansion of ministry beyond their imagination. Of course they still didn’t get it. They needed a dose of Holy Spirit power and a vision that took them beyond the narrow confines of Israel to the ends of the earth. We can’t blame them too much. It’s very hard to imagine where the Christ will take us and what the Christ will do through us. We live in a time when Christianity seems to have reached its zenith. In our part of the world congregations are dwindling and churches are closing. In response some people are digging trenches and building walls to save that which seems to be slipping away. They’re convinced that returning to the past is what God has in mind for us. But that’s not how it works with Jesus Christ…the ending of his mission was not the ending of his presence. Before many days his Holy Spirit washed over the disciples and they received a new vision…and we will too. The Church isn’t going away…it’s just changing in ways we can’t yet see.
Thought for the Day: What will happen if denominations die?