AND NOW IT BEGINS!
We are going
to look today at the last day Jesus was on this earth with his disciples,now
called apostles. There are two things talked about in the first chapter of
Acts. First Jesus’ final interaction with his disciples/apostles. And secondly,
what the disciples did as soon as Jesus went back to be with God the Father.
thing talked about in Acts 1 is one of the centerpieces of what we as
Christians believe. In verse 3 we see it said after Jesus’ suffering, which
includes, obviously, his crucifixion, Jesus appeared to his disciples alive
over a period of 40 days. This was a time Jesus was reassuring his disciples it
was okay. “What I came to do I have done.” Then he tells them, “Now it is about
to become your turn.” Jesus was telling the disciples, “It is not quite time to
start yet. Wait for the Holy Spirit, then it will be time.” Most all Christians
believe in three distinct characteristics of God; God the Father, God the Son
and God the Holy Spirit.
the history of the world each unique part of God has been actively working with
men and women. God the Father was more actively involved with his people in the
Old Testament times. God the son, Jesus, obviously came to earth with a
particular mission and accomplished it. That mission, to pay the price for all
of mankind’s sins past, present, and future, leads us to how God primarily
works in our world since Jesus returned to God the Father.
In verses 4
and 5, we see Jesus is reminding his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until God
the Holy Spirit comes and gives them power. Once that happens, then and only
then, will it be time to begin. Jesus told them their primary mission, which
had no limits. That mission is to take what you have heard and seen to the
world. That message is that those living in darkness can experience the light
of God in ways that no one has ever experienced before. Those living in bondage
can be set free. Those who feel hopeless and helpless can live in victory. Man,
what a message God has entrusted the disciples/apostles with!
Jesus had no
more than said these words when he disappeared right before their eyes. Yet
again, God the Father in His mercy sent two angels to explain what had just
happened. The angels explained that just as you saw Jesus leave, that some day
Jesus will return in the same way.
this happened, the disciples went back to Jerusalem to the place they had been
staying. The remaining 11 disciples were there, as well as many women,
including Jesus’ mother, Mary. Also among the group were other men, including
Jesus’ earthly brothers. They gathered there in prayer asking for direction on
how they should go forward. As most all of us know, one of the disciples had betrayed
Jesus and killed himself. This, of course, was Judas. Since Jesus originally
called 12 disciples, they felt they needed to replace Judas. As they were
gathered waiting for the promised Holy Spirit, they decided to replace Judas
themselves. We see they decided to cast lots between two men who had been part
of Jesus’ followers from early on but were never actually among Jesus’ 12
disciples. The lot fell on a man named Mathias, so from that point on he was
part of the inner circle with the other 11 disciples.
ascension happened 40 days after Jesus rose from the grave. On our calendar
this year, it would have been on May 13. Can you imagine what it would have
been like to have been one of those in that group who was almost always with
Jesus? Jesus had ministered to literally hundreds of thousands of men, women
and children. Yet there were just 120 people in that place seeking God’s
guidance and waiting for their time. These men and woman had seen things that
had totally changed their lives. And soon they would be the ones taking the
lead in what would change the world forever. We are living in what is called
the church age. During this time, the Holy Spirit of God is who is encouraging
us and strengthening us to face whatever comes our way. Is the Holy Spirit
operating today the same way he operated when power came to the disciples? That
question will be a topic for another time. The fact is, though, that the same
Holy Spirit that empowered the disciples and the early church 2000 years ago is
still giving wisdom, strength and guidance to the church today.
Our God is
still setting the captive free, bringing sight to the blind, causing the lame
to walk, bringing hope to the hopeless. The only limits on God are the ones we
put on Him. Over the next several weeks we are going to see how the Holy Spirit
of God transformed ordinary men and women into the most vibrant, on fire people
the world has ever seen. The question for you and me is are we ready for that
to be us or are we already there? There is a lot that can be done right here in
Cerro Gordo. Are we ready for the next chapter? And now it begins again!
Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday
June 2 Submissions for the June newsletter are due to Carol.
June 9 7:00 Executive Committee
Women’s Fellowship will be making strawberry pies to
order. Stemming is scheduled for Saturday,
June 12. Volunteers are needed. A sign
up sheet for pie shells is in the back of the sanctuary. Pie pans to be used
are in the kitchen.
Camp Emmanuel schedules and registration forms are
available in the back of the sanctuary.
Please place your offering in the plates at the back
of the sanctuary. Thank you for your continued giving!
Donation Box: VBS
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
keep up on Church of the Brethren news:
Denomination: www.brethren.org/news Sign
up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.
iwdcob.org (click on newsletter link) and on facebook
pages: cerrogordocob.com (printed sermon, announcements, &
calendar) and on facebook
in Your Prayers
David Roe; Tera Runyan;
Holly Flenner; Tim Laird; Carl and Wilma Cable; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Sherry
Wright; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Evelyn
Eads; Anna Gentry Thompson; Marlene & Arnold Schultz; Clyde and Nancy
Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose
Larrick; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo &
Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy
Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and
first responders; the families of the 580,000+ people who have died from
COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers,
staff, and students; victims of natural disasters; victims of shootings;
nursing home residents; the Nigerian church
Military and Other
Services and their families
Service workers; Disaster project workers
God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.