The Acts of the Apostles
It is not often that we get Acts in the lectionary outside of the Easter season - and I am curious, how many of us have read the book or know anything about it? It has been well documented that the Acts of the Apostles is a continuation or an extension of Luke’s Gospel - it opens with a reference to another writing by the author (which leads us to believe this is a continuation of Luke). In this book, we will hear great stories about how the Apostles proceeded with carrying out the message of Christ to the world...and most importantly, how it was received by the gentiles. While we know that Christ came as a Jew and to the Jews, he did extend this very important messiahship and love and grace to all the world.
These fifty days of Eastertide will help bring the feast of the resurrection to life for us (the sanctuary will be dressed in white as a symbol of our resurrection). With that, I would like to invite you into a sermon series that will focus on the Acts of the Apostles. These post resurrection acts will help us understand what happened immediately following the awful events of Holy Week and the miracle of miracles on Easter morning.
Some stories you may know that come from Acts:
The Great Commission 1:4-8
Stephen (our namesake) 6:8-7:60
I would encourage you to read along and ahead of the Sundays when we will be hearing from the book, and truly bring questions with you to talk about during coffee hour.
One of the goals of the Call Committee was to help build the Biblical literacy of St. Stephen’s - and one such way is to do so through sermon series and impromptu conversations. The Acts of the Apostles is a historical account of the Apostles, an account that helps us to begin to imagine what this early movement must have been like as it was moving forward to help people hear the message of the salvation and love of Christ. Things that happened immediately after the death of Christ caused the series of events that would lead us from a small band of persecuted followers of a slain messiah to a world religion that is now charged to bring the message of grace and compassion to a world that still needs the liberating love of Jesus Christ.
April 23: Acts 2:14a, 22-32
April 30: Acts 2:14a, 36-41
May 7: Acts 2:42-47
May 14: Acts 7:55-60 (This is the martyr of Stephen - good day to wear red)
May 21: Ascension Sunday (Bishop Bill will be visiting and preaching)
May 28: Acts 1:6-14