Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sermon Notes: Acts 1: 1-11 Stop, Wait, Go!

This morning I’ve got a question for you. It’s a big question, an important question. Where is Jesus now?

Jesus is in heaven - today we’re thinking about why that’s important, and what it means for us as well.

We’re thinking today about something important - a special day that we read about in our Bible reading. A special day known as samtsirhc day... Does anyone know what that is?

Samtsirhc Day is the reverse of Christmas Day! At Christmas, Jesus came down from heaven. He was born as a baby, and grew up and became a man. He gathered his disciples and taught them for three years. He was crucified, died and was buried. He rose again from the dead, alive, and taught the disciples for forty days. Showed he was alive, prepared them for the work to come.

He was lifted up to heaven, seated at God’s right hand. Jesus is in heaven. He’s not here in person. Wouldn’t it be good to have Jesus with us in person? Listen to him speaking rather than me?

But Jesus is in heaven. How can we do the work he has called us to do? How could the disciples start that same work?

What are these? What do they tell us to do?

Traffic lights tell us to: Stop; Wait / Get Ready; Go!

Stop: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem’ (4) - disciples were to stop, stay where they were.

Wait: ‘but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ (4-5) - weren’t ready just yet... needed someone to help them - Holy Spirit. Comes to be with us, live in us, to be like Jesus with us - Jesus is in heaven, but gives us the Holy Spirit to be with us.

Go: ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ - Spirit gives us power to work, power to speak.

Power to move out - Jerusalem; Judea; Samaria; ends of the earth.

First disciples had to go through all the traffic lights. Red - stop. Red/amber - wait. Ten days later, at Pentecost: green - go.

Which traffic light do we have? It’s not red, because we’re not in Jerusalem. It’s not red/amber, because if we have trusted in Jesus, we already have the Holy Spirit, we don’t need to wait. We now have the green traffic light - the disciples have moved from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth. We’re part of the ends of the earth.

The Sunday School project, little lights, is helping us think about how we can be little lights here; and people in DR Congo are little lights there. We have the power promised. We have a green light. We can tell people about Jesus.

These sermon notes formed the basis for the All-Age Bible Talk at the Family Service in Aghavea Parish Church on the Sunday after the Ascension, 17th May 2015.

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