An Incomplete Story




Scripture:

Acts 28:30   He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

Observation:

These are the final two verses in the book of Acts. It does not bring us to the end of Paul’s life, nor his ministry. We are left with Paul under house arrest in Rome, subsidizing his own imprisonment, but using it to the benefit of the gospel. Unhindered by his circumstances, he continues to proclaim and teach boldly and without hindrance. 

Application:

As we continue the Advent journey we suddenly realize that we are invited into the story. The book of Acts finishes rather abruptly and there are a number of theories, the most common of which is that that Luke had finished his writing while Paul was under house arrest in Rome. In other words, this was real-time information. We believe that after this Paul was released and went on to write some additional letters, travel and then returned to Rome where he was executed in the year 64. Luke’s history, however, leaves us without the rest of the story when suddenly we realize, WE are the rest of the story. 

The story of the proclamation of the kingdom of God remains incomplete because it can only be brought to perfection by our participation in the event. This is advent, when little by little the light of the gospel dawns upon the earth. This becomes possible when you and I take upon ourselves the responsibility for writing another chapter in the story. We are privileged to become active participants in advent, so, when’s the last time that I shared about Jesus with “all boldness and without hindrance?” There is nothing to fear. We have the joy of sharing about the amazing arrival of the Messiah into this world, who brought with him peace beyond our understanding. Isn’t this good news that we would want to share with others?

I spend quite a bit of time writing, but it’s not an easy process. It’s actually more of a discipline, something that I have to dedicate time to doing. I never just “find” the time to write, but I have to set-aside a designated portion of my life in which I can write. Writing must be an intentional process, and so is participation in the completion of God’s story. God’s story remains incomplete until each and every one of us sets aside time to work on our chapter. It won’t just happen by accident, but only when we take the responsibility seriously, and look for opportunities to proclaim and teach with “all boldness and without hindrance.”  

Writing that next chapter can begin today when we ask God to open our eyes to see the world through the power of the Holy Spirit. Suddenly we discover amazing possibilities which lie before us, filling the pages of our lives with miraculous participation in the advent of the kingdom of God. 

Prayer:

Lord, help me to see the world today through your eyes. Amen. 

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