| WEEK 47 |
A QUICK LOOK BACK
I loved watching Scooby Doo as a kid. But there was something about how the gang investigated strange occurrences that left me scratching my head: They always split up. I guess it makes sense to cover more ground in a shorter period of time, but I don’t know. Fred, Velma and Daphne would go off in one direction and Shaggy and
Scooby would go off in another. If you don’t know the show, Shaggy was kind of a goofball and Scooby was a dog. Both teams had a job to do, but one team was much better at figuring things out than the other. Shaggy and Scooby were only good at finding food and getting in trouble. Why in the world would Fred ever send those two out on their own and expect them to get something important done? For that matter, why would Jesus send the apostles? He was the reliable one, but we saw Him lead the disciples out to a deserted place and say “Let’s split up!” It makes sense on the surface. For the very first time, the disciples now understood the magnitude of what Jesus has been doing all along. He was not just working to restore political glory to Israel. He was laying the groundwork for the coming Kingdom of God. They now knew that this kingdom was like nothing else in human history. They got a taste of it in
Jesus’ resurrection. His battered human body was not just brought back to life but transformed into something eternal. His body would never age, never become ill, and never die. He was 100% eternal spirit and 100% eternal human, both together in the same place for the very first time. The Apostle Paul would later call the risen Christ “the first born of the New Creation” where spiritual heaven and renewed earth would be brought together into the same place as a perfect eternal kingdom where God and
humanity would live together in peace. But first there was work to do. Heaven had to be prepared for the Big Day. Earth had to get ready for the Big Day, too, which is why Jesus said “Let’s split up! I’ll work on getting heaven ready while you work on getting the earth ready” and off He went. The disciples just stood there, dumbfounded, staring up into the clouds. Had Jesus just made the biggest mistake of His life? We have no doubt that Jesus will get everything ready on His end, but now the apostles have work to do on their end.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Some people hate dandelions. As soon as they pop up in the yard they are pulling and spraying to try to wipe them out. Why are they so eager to stop the little yellow visitors? Because dandelions do not stay yellow forever. In a matter of days, they mature and turn into a white powder puff of seeds. The slightest breeze sends them scattered all over the neighborhood, giving birth to more dandelions wherever they go. Some see them as weeds. Children see them as beautiful flowers and loads of fun as they blow the seeds into the air like blowing out a candle. As the story of Acts continues, the Church is growing like a weed. Some see it as a threat and wish to pull it up by the roots as soon as they can. The apostles are beaten and put into prison. Persecution breaks out causing the Church to scatter its seeds throughout the Roman Empire putting down roots and growing new communities of Christian believers everywhere. It is not the violence that sends them into the wind. It is the breath of God blowing through Jerusalem at Pentecost. No matter where the believers in Christ touch down, they found each new village and town to be good soil for the seeds of the kingdom. Read on as the gospel spreads!
Keep reading and I’ll see you in the Bible!
WEEK 47 Reading Schedule:
Nov 19 Acts 16-17 Travels of Paul and Silas
Nov 20 Acts 18-20 Paul’s Journeys through Greek Cities
Nov 21 Acts 21-23 Paul in Jerusalem, brought Before Council
Nov 22 Acts 24-26 Paul in Roman Custody
Nov 23 Acts 27-28 Paul Sails for Rome, Shipwrecked, Arrival
Nov 24 Romans 1-3 Christians, Jews and the Law
Nov 25 Romans 4-7 Abraham, Adam, and Christ