This month, and throughout the summer, you will see that our daily readings chart follows the Book of Acts. This month we are reading chapters one through eight. This book, written by Dr. Luke [he was a physician by trade] for Theophilus [meaning God lover], a high Roman official, as a continuation of Luke’s Gospel. He writes this book “so that [Theophilus] may know the certainty of the things [he had] been taught (Lk 1: 3-4) concerning the eyewitness accounts of Jesus. Luke writes in order to create expectations on behalf of the reader. The preface to Acts (1:1) sets the tone for the next 28 chapters and, more important, creates expectations about how the story will communicate about the nature of the truth it puts forth.

These opening verses Acts (1:1-11) point back to Luke's "first book," of the Gospel. In verses 1--2, Luke recounts all the stories of Jesus' life and ascension. But also, these opening verses are a literary hinge. Luke here helps his readers turn a corner from an exclusive focus on Jesus' teachings and actions to the work Jesus empowers his chosen followers to do. Jesus may now reside in heaven, but his apostles are now carrying on the work of proclaiming the kingdom of God.

Jesus has chosen these apostles, but their work cannot begin in earnest yet. Jesus made an additional promise (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8) that has not yet been fulfilled as Acts begins. Acts 1:12 finds the apostles waiting in Jerusalem for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. As we will discover as we journey through the pages of Acts, the Holy Spirit is the driving force behind the proclamation and deeds of the apostles. So, this book has often been referred to as “The Acts of the Holy Spirit,”

The Acts of the Apostles portrays Jesus' followers from their days with the risen Jesus in Jerusalem to Paul's mission in Rome. Initial chapters focus on the life of the early community of believers in Jerusalem and the work of the Holy Spirit among them. Called, inspired, and even driven by the Holy Spirit, the apostles spread the gospel throughout northern Mediterranean lands. The story of Paul's call (in chapter 9, next month) to spread the news of Jesus is the central emphasis of the second half of Acts. The final verse of Acts summarizes the book's themes: welcome of all, bold proclamation and teaching about the kingdom of God, and God's plan as unstoppable.

Acts is invaluable as a witness to the development of communities of followers of "the Way" of God disclosed in Jesus. Driving the message of Acts is the conviction that God's Holy Spirit, now inextricably bound to the risen Jesus, empowers and legitimates the activities of believers at many critical points. The opening up of salvation (being in covenant relationship with the God of the Jews) to all people is at the heart of this book. Around this central theological idea Acts also emphasizes that Christians are called to hospitality, friendship, and boldness in speech and in interpretation of Scripture.

As you read through The Acts of the Holy Spirit, I invite you to share with me what you are seeing and discovering and noticing about the life of the early church. Answer the question for yourself: “Are we, or can we be, like the 1st Century church in Acts?” The reading of Acts for the summer is not time consuming. Each reading is, on the average, about 13 verses in length. Some shorter, some longer (only for continuity of the story). It is an easy read. I encourage to partake in this journey, and when I come to visit, you can share and ask whatever questions you have.

“Oh no, he didn’t?!” “Oh yes, he did!!” Yes, I said visit. Throughout the summer I ma going to schedule visit with each family on the directory list.

I am referring to this as “House Calls.” Doctors used to make house calls years ago, and some are returning to the practice. Pastors makes house calls to day usually when someone can’t come to church. My philosophy is why wait until someone is in need of help before one visits. So, this summer, I will be making house calls. Let me clarify: THESE ARE SOCIAL CALLS, NOT FOR SEEKING ANYTHING EXCEPT YOUR CONCERNS, NEEDS, QUESTIONS, AND FELLOWSHIP. AND THEN TO PRAY FOR YOU. The whole purpose is to connect outside of the church building and worship. I want to meet with you and your family on a more personal level, on your turf, open to anything you have to say. Ab – so – lute - ly anything!

These are not cold calls, they are house calls, so that means they are prearranged. I’ll call you to set up a time. Please be open to this opportunity to have some one-on-one. I will be calling in no particular order. And of course, anything you share remains in STRICTEST confidence. Total anonymity unless you give permission to share. I will be collecting anonymous general information to evaluateour ministry here at Trinity. These visits will show up in my Pastoral Acts for the month as “House Call.” You will hear from me in the near future. Or, if you can’t wait, call me (at the number on the Messenger) and we’ll set up a time. I look forward to seeing you and hearing your take on The Acts of the Holy Spirit.


Blessed Pentecost Season.

Vicar Kent

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