Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

Jesus' story continued

April 22, 2022

Daily Scripture

Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:1-8

Luke 24

50 He led them out as far as Bethany, where he lifted his hands and blessed them. 51 As he blessed them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. 52 They worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem overwhelmed with joy. 53 And they were continuously in the temple praising God.

Acts 1

1 Theophilus, the first scroll I wrote concerned everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning, 2 right up to the day when he was taken up into heaven. Before he was taken up, working in the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus instructed the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he showed them that he was alive with many convincing proofs. He appeared to them over a period of forty days, speaking to them about God’s kingdom. 4 While they were eating together, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised. He said, “This is what you heard from me: 5 John baptized with water, but in only a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 As a result, those who had gathered together asked Jesus, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?”

7 Jesus replied, “It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Luke wrote not one book, but two. Jesus’ story went on directly into “volume 2,” the book of Acts. Jesus charged his followers to witness to him, but not just with their own courage or cleverness. They were to wait for the Holy Spirit’s power. Jesus’ “marching orders” were clear, but they must have felt breathtaking and daunting to the small group of disciples (about 120—cf. Acts 1:15). They’re still our orders, and still breathtaking: “make disciples of all nations….to the end of the earth.”

  • Surely God could have written Jesus’ story in the clouds or spoken it from the skies. But God’s divine wisdom made people (us!) the main means to carry out the mission: “You will be my witnesses.” How did Jesus’ vision make it central for his family of believers to always keep a mission-driven, outward focus for their life together? Whose witness has shaped your life? In what ways can/could you live out Jesus’ commission to be one of his witnesses.
  • Jesus ordered his disciples “not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised.” We Americans often feel driven and impatient. Has it ever been hard for you to remember that Jesus order not to try to do his work on your own, without God’s power, applies to you, too? How could “going it alone” hinder, not advance, God’s mission, or hinder your spiritual growth? Prayer: Jesus, I love your audacity in telling 120 people in a small Roman province to reach “to the end of the earth.” I love the Holy Spirit’s power that goes with that mission. Fill me with that vision and that Spirit. Amen.

Jesus, I love your audacity in telling 120 people in a small Roman province to reach “to the end of the earth.” I love the Holy Spirit’s power that goes with that mission. Fill me with that vision and that Spirit. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook is the Entry Points Program Director at Resurrection, a self-proclaimed foodie, a bookworm, and is always planning her next trip. She has the sweetest (and sassiest) daughter, Carolina Rae, a rockstar husband, Austin, and a cutie pup named Thunder. She loves connecting with others so let her know the best place you've ever eaten, best book you've ever read, or best place you've ever been!

I have had the opportunity to be a part of the Emerging Leaders group here at Resurrection over the past year, and one of our “assignments” this past month was to engage with the Seven Words About Me assessment from Harry Campbell. This was a really challenging process for me for a couple of reasons.

First, for context, when you engage with this process, you send a link out to as many people as you want. You can send it to your colleagues, your family, your supervisor, your friends, etc. They simply put in seven words they would use to describe you. Then the system analyzes the results and gives you back the words in an anonymous list, ranked by words said most to words said least. However, you must wait for these results until all the people you send the link to have time to think it though and respond. Needless to say, they do not immediately respond, and I cannot immediately react and respond myself to become better. And this is likely what says the most about me. Want to know some of the top words used to describe me? Competitive, driven, and impatient. Aren’t you shocked?!

While these words can often be used in positive ways, I have also used them (and had them used about me) in negative ways.

So, let’s talk about patience. I have a three-year-old–I know how to be patient. But when it comes to things I am passionate about and believe in wholeheartedly, or really want, I can be very impatient. If I have a plan, a solution to a problem or a goal, there is absolutely nothing that can stand in my way. And I move forward rapidly and usually, alone, not waiting for others to catch up or run with me.

In today’s Scripture, Jesus reminds us that we cannot do his work on our own, we are not meant to do his work alone. We need him, we need God’s power. We need others to complete God’s mission for the world. And God doesn’t actually have to work at our pace (unfortunately). That’s super hard for me.

I tend to run so fast and so hard at everything in life that I conveniently forget this, until I can’t forget anymore. A friend used to use the phrase that when she wasn’t paying to attention to God’s soft whispers, God would start using bricks (like the kid does to the bad guy in Home Alone, so you can picture it). I don’t believe God punishes us or harms us. I do think God will force us to pay attention and for me, that’s usually through a failure, illness, or injury that forces me to slow down and re-evaluate.

The mission God has for us is really, really big and really, really important. We have to reach the ends of our broken earth to share the good news! Yet we cannot do it alone, we cannot fix it all alone, no matter how strong and efficient and driven we are. We are so much better together, as the body of Christ, as the Church. And we are nothing without God. This is a blessing, not a curse. Put down the yoke of trying to carry the whole world, friends. Drop your shoulders, take a breath, it’s not your responsibility to fix everything that is broken. You don’t have to do it all.

Jesus, remind us to slow down today. Remind us that God is God and we are not. Help us breathe in your grace and your power so that we can breathe out your love and shine your light to the world around us. Remind us to walk alongside you and others, that we are better together, to do the great work you’ve laid before us. We love you. Amen.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.