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Day 1: Now What?

Day 1: Now What?

Adapted from Acts 1:1-5

Dear Jesus, According to the Book of Acts, after your resurrection, you spent days with your apostles and followers teaching them with words and actions. You presented yourself to those you trusted in different settings over a period of forty days. You met them face-to-face; you talked to them about the kingdom of God. You ate meals together, and you prepared them to wait for what the Father promised: you prepared them to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. As we seek to understand more deeply just what it means to pray for your will on earth as in heaven, we seek to embrace your promises of guidance in our prayers and actions. Help us to be Easter People who listen for your voice in a world that is full of useless babble. Help us to share your Good News and embrace the joy of your resurrection in everything we do. Amen.

We will spend a lot of time in the book of Acts since it describes the time after the resurrection with great details. Eugene Peterson warns that the Book of Acts helps us not to become, “enthusiastic spectators, and then let it go at that.” He wants us to move beyond becoming “admirers of Jesus, generous with our oohs and ahs.”[1] He believes the author of Acts wants us to be inspired to imitate Jesus. Peterson reminds us that we are not spectators, rather we are called to be “in on the action of God.”[2] William Willimon agrees that the book of Acts “has a very practical, homiletic purpose—to tell the story of Christ and his new community in such a way that the values of the founder and his immediate successors might be emulated today.”[3]

So my question for toady is, “Where in your life or in our world do you think emulating Jesus’ way would help?”

For me, these words that Paul spoke to the Romans come to mind: “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.” (Romans 14. 1-3. The Message.)

So this day I will try to act with gentle patience understanding when person’s perception is different from mine—I need to listen deeply. It will help me to understand more fully if I do not jump to conclusions.

Prayer recap: Dear Jesus, As I try to emulate what you teach, let your Holy Spirit live in me and keep me willing to listen and learn from all of your creation on earth as in heaven. Amen.

[1] Peterson. The Message. p. 1971.

[2] Ibid.

[3] William Willimon. (1988) Interpretation: Acts, p. 5.

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