The right way round
As I write this (or rather type it), Easter is fast approaching and like most of you I am beginning to realise just how close Holy Week is, the services and special events are about to fling themselves upon me and I am beginning to enter the stages of mild panic!
In Acts 1:1-11 the author of the book (believed to be Luke writing to Theophilus), recounts the life of Christ “until the day he was taken up to heaven”. In these verses, he writes of the suffering of Christ and His resurrection before moving on to the work of the Holy Spirit. However, one of the standout passages for me, in these wonderful verses is right at the beginning where he states:
“I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach.”
All that Jesus began to do
All that Jesus began to teach
Here, Luke is emphasising that the ministry of Christ was not just about teaching – as important as that is – vitally important. But before the teaching of Jesus he writes about the works of Jesus - what He did. What Jesus did, led to what Jesus taught, the teaching was the revelation, the opening up of the doing.
Jesus did not teach anything that he did not do, it is also true that he did not do anything that he would not teach and explain fully so that his works could be understood. It is true that he taught about his trial, death and resurrection before they happened, but it seems to me that on many occasions, His works led to His words and that is certainly the thought here in Acts 1:1.
The use of the word “began” in verse 1 highlights the fact that it is not complete and the works of Jesus continue and the teaching of Jesus go on through us, so I wonder if there is something in Acts 1:1 that we need to consider about our words and our actions.
I am sure that most of our churches are good at teaching, but the challenge is what are we like at doing – what do our villages and communities SEE when they look at us as a church and as individuals, because that is the first experience they will have of the Christ that lives in us.
I am constantly aware that on many occasions, people are drawn to our churches by what they see. It is the things we do and the way we are outside of Sunday services that attract people, the events that we put on during the week, the love we show and the lives we live.