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New Endings to Old Stories, pt 1

Pray: To open your time together.

Read: Acts 1; John 16

Consider: Some thoughts for your group

The book of Acts is our first glimpse into the life of the disciples after Jesus’ resurrection and reappearance. What a journey this group has been through! It may be helpful to pause and put yourself in the disciple’s shoes for a moment. Having spent three intense years living with Jesus every day, putting their faith in Him completely, and watching Him transform people’s minds, bodies, and communities the disciples are ready to die for Him. Until He is arrested and then they scatter. They watch him die at the hands of their oppressors and must have imagined this story was over and held a darker ending then they could have ever imagined.

But resurrection day came! Amid their darkness, despair, and fear Jesus returns and reclaims the story. And for 40 glorious days Jesus lives with them again and teaches them all that has happened. Imagined the renewed hope! But Jesus is clear that this time He will be leaving and for a very important reason. A helper is coming. The story of Jesus and His kingdom will continue, but this time it will be through His church and by the power of the helper, the Holy Spirit.

Like the disciples, we are called to bring the kingdom of God into our world through the power of the Holy Spirit. But unlike the disciples, we often move ahead of God to do the work we see before us.

Far too often, we blunder ahead, with what little we know about Jesus and even less what we know about His kingdom and what we’ve experienced of His presence. Waiting always precedes action. Prayer always precedes practice. The presence and power of the Spirit is needed.

Group Questions:

  1. Put yourself in the place of the disciples: what do you imagine you would be experiencing during the 40 days of living with the resurrected Jesus?
  • Reread Acts 1: 4-5. What is your history and understanding of the Holy Spirit?
  • Waiting is so challenging sometimes, but Jesus clearly commands the disciples to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit before they go into action. What are you waiting on the Sprit for right now?

Closing Prayer:

Spend some time praying for one another. If you are in a season of waiting on the Spirit, share that with your group and pray for the Spirit to lead, comfort, and fill your hopes and direction.