From January 2014 until September 2015 I taught a weekly class on Acts, a book of the New Testament. It was a wonderful study and I loved joining with friends each week to learn more about the early Christian church.
As a reminder, the first four books of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each of these four books (called the Gospels) tells the story of Jesus, His life, ministry, death and resurrection. The Gospels each share different parts of the story. If you haven’t read them in a while, start the New Year by reading at least one of them.
Following the four Gospels is the book of Acts. Written by Luke, this book tells the story of the early church. Much of the book involves the story of Paul who was once a zealot, persecuting Christians, and later became an enthusiastic follower and advocate of Christ. Like the four Gospels, the book of Acts is fascinating. Again, a great read to start the New Year.
But, the book of Acts ends abruptly. There is no summary of what happened to Paul or John or Barnabas or the various churches. To me, it is as if someone lost the next chapter or forgot to finish telling the story. It just ends.
We have just a few days left in this holiday season. Christmas is over and New Year’s is just a couple of days away. In 365 or so days from now, will we be wondering why we didn’t continue our story, why we didn’t finish the job? Do we have work that needs to be done now?
- For instance, what thank you notes should be written? Instead of our thank you note/email/texting list only including those from whom we received gifts or spent evenings in their homes, how about sending a note to that one who told us that funny story or made us feel welcome at that party?
- Are there those to whom we should send a gift? For that friend who is struggling, a gift of baked goods in January, when the excitement of Christmas has faded away, might mean more than we could imagine.
- Could someone appreciate special time with us? Perhaps a long phone call or lunch or an invitation to watch a college bowl game would help to strengthen that friendship that was rekindled over the holidays.
As long as we are breathing, we have a chance to make a difference. We can’t waste precious time.
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)