24 April 2017Acts 1:1-8
“… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (v. 8)
Psalm: Psalm 137:1-7
Living in an age where fake news can travel around the world before the truth has got its boots on - to misquote an old saying - we know only too well the power of communication. Knowing how to get your message out - whether it's a political campaign or an advertising slogan - is essential if you want to get people on your side.
As Jesus comes to the end of his time on earth, he has been giving the disciples an intensive course in missiology ready for this moment. They are convinced now that he really has risen from the dead, but need a bit more understanding about what comes next.
The answer is not 'go' but 'wait'. Why? Because good communication needs the right network and it isn't in place yet.
The "promise of the Father" (v. 4) is the gift of the Holy Spirit and a promised power to witness to the truth of the Resurrection and the new reality of the kingdom of God to change lives.
It's only a matter of days before the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Then the disciples understand exactly what Jesus meant by saying "and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth".
The Galilean boy band will be in on the start of a world tour: beginning where they are but spreading out on the coat tails of the expanding Roman Empire - the very occupiers who have tried to crush the Jewish people. From Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and into the known world the story of a risen Messiah rockets as believers tell it.
Within a very few years the story of Jesus had reached Britain … the ends of the earth?
- How difficult is it to wait when you have a message you want to share? What can be gained by waiting?
- What networks do we ignore at our peril?