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Here we go! A whole new year of diving into the Bible, noticing new things, being puzzled by new problems and sharing time around the table with fellow disciples!
This week we are kicking off with the birth of the church as we begin reading though the book of Acts.
It is written by a guy called Luke (a doctor and historian who also wrote the gospel of Luke, see Luke 1:1-4) who wanted to make sure that someone wrote down a factual, researched, analytical, precise amount of some of the incredible things Jesus had unleashed.
Later on we are going to meet Paul, who goes on to write most of the rest of the Bible, but Acts is initially concerned with the disciples who had followed Jesus around Israel for the last few years. They would be obviously fascinating people to watch! If anyone was going to know how Jesus might react in the world, it would be them. If anyone was going to be amped up about continuing his ministry, it would be them….If anyone was going to be full of fear having just watched their leader and best mate brutally killed – it would be them!
As we start in on this book (the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ is what it stands for) we are going to learn a ton by watching how these guys and gals go about their lives as disciples, how they solve tricky problems and work out what their faith means and how they cope with the presence of the Spirit of God in their lives.
There is a little line right at the start of the book which is so innocuous it is almost a throw-away. IN verse 1 Luke refers back to his gospel and writes that in that book he had written about “all that Jesus began to say and do”. Did you spot it?
Began.
The implication is this “the rest of this letter is going to be about all that he continues to say and do…AND HE IS NOT ON EARTH ANYMORE!” How does He say and do anything? Well, through the lives, personalities, words and actions of his church…his disciples.
Watch as they respond to imprisonment, false-trial, stoning, bogus miracle workers, the poor, the rich, the foreigner, the person from another religion, their culture…the list goes on, and it is fascinating.
There are plenty of miracles in the first few pages of the book, and it as though the church gets off to a flying start, full of the power of God running rampant all over the place. There is also radical care for the widows and orphans (which is referred to as true religion’ elsewhere in the Bible), there are complex arguments and deep theology.
In the middle of it all though, allow that question to become an ear-worm. “What is Jesus saying and doing in my life at the moment?”…it’s a good place for a disciple to start growing. Start to notice a few things and then ask the Lord if He would gently do more.

READINGS
Mon 2nd Acts 1
Tue 3rd Acts 2:1-28
Wed 4th Acts 2:29-41
Thurs 5th Acts 2:42-3:10
Fri 6th Acts 3:11-26
Sat 7th Acts Psalm 27
Sun 8th Acts Psalm 28