Acts 1:1 All that Jesus began to do and teach
Over the course of the next 40 days, up to Ascension Day, and then on to Pentecost, we shall be looking in depth at the first chapter of Acts. And in this first reflection we simply note the continuity of Luke’s two volumes. Basically, it is this: Luke’s gospel concerns all that Jesus began to do and teach; hence, the book of Acts is Luke telling his friend Theophilus all that Jesus continues to do and teach, only this time through his apostles and through his church. Quite a thought isn’t it? The risen and ascended Jesus now makes himself known to the world through his people.
I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say with the songwriter that ‘Christ has no body now but yours’. Last time I checked, the risen and ascended Jesus very much has a body, a glorious body. But you get the point. We are the channels of his blessing. When Jesus ascends to heaven his work does not cease; instead it takes on a new form. When the world encounters the church, it encounters Jesus. Indeed, when the world persecuted the church, it persecutes Jesus. Why else does the Lord say to Saul, who was on his way to Damascus to round up the Christians: ‘why do you persecute me?’ By the Spirit, we are inextricably bound to the Lord – called to be his witnesses.
Prayer: Dear Father, what a privilege and what a responsibility to bear witness to your beloved Son. Help us to live lives worthy of this high calling; and help us to celebrate the times when we see you at work in us, through word, sacrament, prayer and discipleship. In Jesus name. Amen.