Reflecting on Acts 1 1-11

As our text of the week is Acts 1:1-11, the opening verses of the book of Acts, which are also the fullest account of the ascension in scripture, thinking about the ascension and its significance might seem to be on the agenda for us.

Do we think about the ascension? What role does it play in our own theology, or our own relationship to God through Jesus Christ? Do we think? Or do we ever think about the ascension? [Because it seems to me that this is somewhat downplayed in contemporary thought. If so – if others share this impression – we could ask ourselves why that might be.]

Honestly, one clue that the ascension is more or less ignored in popular theology might be the fact that the published curriculum we’re using ignores it. Even though it’s the subject of the week’s text! The text of the lesson commentary is all about the book of Acts, taking on the task of talking about what’s coming up. There’s not a word about the ascension at all. Not even a paragraph on why the ascension might be a necessary starting point for the book. Curious? I think so.

Some notes on the text are here. Here are a couple more questions we might want to think about or discuss in class:

“Who’s Theophilus?” is a question that comes up a lot. Do we ask ourselves that question? How do we answer it? What difference does it make, to us? To how we read the book of Acts? Why, do we think?

Does it mean anything to us, or for us, that the apostles – that is, humans, rather than angels or other supernatural beings – now (in the story) have the task of being Jesus’ witnesses? What?

[More personal] Does “being a witness” seem like part of our own job? What does that job seem to entail? What makes us say that?

[Still more personal] Do we ever think about this? What experiences, learning, etc. seems to factor in to our thinking? How – that is, with what result(s)?

[Way more personal] How would we say we’re doing on this? Why? Implications?

Image: “The Conversation,” Edgar Degas, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: