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The automobile tycoon Henry Ford once famously said, “history is more or less bunk.” Why look back when you can look forward? Get busy making history rather than reading stories of those long dead and gone?
Fair enough, except that sometimes the stories of the past are the very thing that inspires us for the future. A man named Luke had a front-row seat during the early days of the Christian church. Like an investigative reporter, he had already captured the story of the life of Jesus into a biography we now have in the New Testament.
But Luke had a second book in him, a book about the early Christian church. The church grew, Luke believed, by the will and purpose of God in fulfillment of promises God made years before. His is an encouraging story, of how from a handful of Jesus followers in a single church, this movement spread beyond geographic, ethnic and racial boundaries. The message, that salvation is found in Jesus, raised from the dead and ascended to heaven, changed lives and communities everywhere it went. And the catalyst for all this change, Luke believed, was the power of the Holy Spirit, the gift Jesus left with the church when he ascended into heaven.
It’s an inspirational story and raises interesting questions for us today, none more important than this: How can we, at City Church, capture today something of the confidence, enthusiasm, vision, and power these early Christians and their leaders had? It’s a question we will explore in the weeks to come.