Our Vacation Bible School (VBS) begins next weekend (June 16, 17, 18 from 5:30 pm till 8:30 pm). As we pray with each other about how God will show up to help us teach, lead, sing, praise and love, I can't help think about the Bible book I read from Sunday. The book is Acts. It is all about how God continues, after Jesus' life, to move into this neighborhood called 'the world.' For God said, in John 3:16 (one of our VBS Scriptures), that He loved the world (people) so much that He gave His son so that whoever (that's all of the folks in that world) believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. Those people who choose to believe in Jesus are called something we fail to perceive as sacred ... but it IS sacred. It is called THE Church. And that book (Acts) is all about the early Church. It describes how we should act. It gives us some examples of things not to do. And offers us a picture of the flawed, broken Church somehow, with the Holy Spirit, moves into the known world with the message of the Gospel. Pretty cool!
Over the remainder of the Summer that is where we will journey. I hope you will jump into the boat with all of the messed-up Church folks who are friends, fellow travelers, companions and Christians. Acts will be our source material. Let's see what we can learn and how we can become more like the Church God envisioned when he told the disciples "You will be My witnesses everywhere" (another VBS Scripture from Acts 1:8).
Our first step in the journey through Acts will look at the pattern of the early Church. It is expressed in Acts 2:42-47. Here are the 10 things we see as the early Church starts the ministry led by the Holy Spirit. 1) devotion to being taught, 2) communion/sacraments, 3) wonders/signs, 4) shared stuff, 5) generosity, 6) meeting in the temple, 7) eating together, 8) sincerity, 9) praise of God, 10) the encouragement of shared favor. That's a lot ... it may take us a few weeks just to get through these, so bear with me as I try to unpack this beautiful and challenging passage. But that is what happens when we journey together and are led by a God of mystery and grace ... we just don't know where God will send us. I hope you will join the journey and find joy in our journey together. Thanks ... Randy