July 3, 2020
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:4-11
For several weeks, since the death of George Floyd, we have watched the expansion of the Black Lives Matter movement. The goal of that movement is to effect significant societal change. It seeks to create a society wherein color, national origin and sexual preference are no longer impediments to full citizenship. There are varying agendas among the groups of persons forming the Black Lives Matter movement, some of those agendas are complimentary and some are conflicting. Ultimately the movement will be successful. But what happens then? Will the movement fracture because of varying agendas or will it develop into a true community where everyone is respected and belongs?
After Jesus’ crucifixion his followers became a defeated, disillusioned band of former disciples. But once he got up from the grave and began to show himself among the people, the defeated band of former disciples became a movement. That movement had within it persons with varying agendas. Some wanted political power! Some wanted to sit on his left hand when he came into power. Some wanted to sit on his right hand when he came into power. All wanted to restore the kingdom of Israel.
The question facing Jesus was how to convert that movement into a community that could achieve the great commission. That is the great story in the book of Acts - how Jesus created a community capable of completing the Great Commission. He had conquered death! He had conquered the grave! But his commission was not yet complete. He had disciples who had deserted him, yet he had to ensure that they would implement the great commission after he was gone. So, at Acts 1:1 through 11, we hear him inspiring his disciples to carry on his commission after he ascends into heaven to sit at the right hand of the father.
We hear him giving clear commands to his disciples!
We hear him articulating continuity between his commission and the creator’s plan!
We hear him certifying his disciples as those who will complete the great commission.
We hear him converting a movement into a community.
Will you become a part of that community Jesus created to carry on after he was gone?
Yours In Community Transformation.
Rev. Gillard S. Glover
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