This coming Sunday our church begins it’s Fall emphasis “A Journey with the Early Church”. Every community group will be using the same study curriculum. The sermons will be following the same path. There’s even a daily devotional for each day of the emphasis. This Sunday I’m kicking off the study by preaching on Acts 1:1-11.
There’s so much packed in these eleven verses, but I found the end interesting this time. After Jesus ascends and disappears into a cloud, the apostles are standing there gazing up into the empty sky. Why’d they stay standing there? This question has been, not exactly bugging me, but occupying my mind. As I wrote the sermon and continued praying over and meditating on the passage Matthew 14:28-33 kept coming to mind. It’s the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water.
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Why was this passage continually coming to mind as I was trying to prepare a message on Acts 1:1-11? I think the connection is that account of the apostles staring up into the sky.
Peter took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the waves. He sank. By the time we get to the first chapter of the book of Acts, the apostles finally realize they are totally dependent on Christ…and he just vanished. What else are they going to do? It took angles to sort of snap them out of it. They had to go off by themselves and pretty much just wait until the Holy Spirit came as Christ promised (though none of them really knew what that meant or what it would look like).
It got me wondering if the core issue in the trials I’ve been facing is that I’ve taken my eyes off of Christ and started focusing on the wind and waves. I’m wondering if the apostles gazing up into the sky wasn’t such a silly thing after all.