The Early Church ...
Wednesday, April 25, 2018. We have been looking into the transition from the gospels to the early church - in particular the book of Acts, the story of the apostles. What do we find here? It starts with the ascension and the coming of the holy spirit, the election of the replacement for Judas, then several sermons of Peter and several wondrous things happening.
Communicating the Core Message …
Let us listen to Peter communicating the core message about Jesus, his death and resurrection:
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus,3 delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. (from Acts 2)
Fact and our Life …
The gospel is about facts in history. But these fact do not remain distinct and meaningless, but they have deep meaning for us today. They are important for me and for you, for each very moment!
Jesus has died, for the sin of the world. God came into the middle of suffering and death. He came into this creation, which is lost without him! He is the creator, the maintainer, the God who holds all in his hands. There is no life without him, no life which could be maintained. No eternal life, except for the eternal life in God himself!
We are all disillusioned within this world. We see our immediate environment only. We see the struggle, we see our needs, and our power - when we believe to have it. We see societies with their way to function, we see wealth and riches, but also poverty and need. Do we see eternal life? How could we? It is not part of our everyday life.
Here, the story of Jesus truly superseeds our daily experiences. It is more than what we could know. It is reaching far beyond. God, eternal life, eternal love, justice, truth, fatherhood and motherhood in full completion. Is it too good to be true? Is it just a dream, just a fancy ideal?
Yet, we believe so many things in our life, which are of the same quality! We believe in ethics, in human rights, in dignity, in love. It all is given in and through the Lord, it is rooted in our origin, being creations of a fantastic eternal God and father. In Jesus, we are reconnected to him, fully, in and through the spirit. A deep truth for today and tomorrow, for you and me. (Roland Potthast) ... further texts