Throughout May, our UniPlace worship series is focusing on the book of Acts. To be precise, The Acts of the Apostles. The fifth book of the New Testament, coming right after the four Gospels, Acts is the story of how the early witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus started the Church. Written by the author of Luke, it is Part II to that evangelist’s story of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, both to the people of Israel and to the Gentiles.
Here’s an interesting exercise: read the first and last chapters of Acts. Notice how Luke is very interested in the relationship between those who have been raised in the religion of Jesus (Judaism) and those who have been raised outside of it (the Gentiles). This issue of unity within diversity pervades not only the book of Acts, but Luke’s gospel as well. Luke is very concerned about the “plan of God” and the “will of God”. He focuses our attention on the continuing presence of Jesus and the empowering Spirit which sends us out into the world.
As you read through Acts, notice this:
- the character of leaders and witnesses
- the roles of church leadership played by both women and men
- the struggle over the “non-Jewish question”
- the redefining of the Jewish mission, and
- the continuing importance of the Law
Comment here on this thread about where you are in your reading, and what new insights are coming from it!