I recently re-watched all three of the “Godfather” films. This epic drama tells the story of a mafia family over several generations. While the story line is captivating, it ends somewhat in anti-climatic fashion. After having been drawn into almost 10 hours of character development, the closing scene shows the main character sitting alone in a chair as he dies. End scene.
This dramatic and open-ended conclusion leaves so many questions unanswered, yet it leaves your mind open to imagine the rest of the saga that could have developed. Part of the beauty of the drama is to leave many questions unanswered, to imply that the saga continued long after this point in time.
Today’s blog really has nothing to do with movies, and you may hate the “Godfather.” That is not even the point, in fact. Replace my description of this movie with any other that you have experienced. The power and the point is to help us see that when a story is not fully resolved, it leads us to understand that the characters and message of the story continued on. Thus, we come to Acts.
For nearly 18 months our church has journeyed through Acts and now come to its end. When we read Acts 28:30-31 it leaves so much unanswered. We never read of Paul’s appeal to Cesar. We don’t read in Acts how he dies. We simply see him continue to advance the Gospel while in chains. He continues to serve others with hospitality. We are reminded that the power of the Gospel is unstoppable.
If this were a stand alone story we may have reason to rise in frustration, however when we recognize that we are actually part of the story we are filled with passion. The church that was built in Acts is still alive. The Gospel that was proclaimed in Acts is still preached. The hope that was shared in hospitality in Acts is the same that should be expressed today.
We are the church. We are alive, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Because the hope of Christ is in us, we can carry that hope to the world every day. You see the message of Acts didn’t end in chapter 28. The mission of the church has never been more relevant than it is today, and you are part of that story.
Continue in boldness and courage as we carry hope to the world. Be the story. Be the church!