We've been walking through the church season of Easter, which reflects on and celebrates Jesus' resurrection from the dead. The Gospels all tell the story of Jesus rising from the dead, and and most tell stories about the risen Jesus spending time with his disciples to get them ready for their ministry in the world. Luke's Gospel takes it a step further. It talks about the disciples spending time with Jesus and then closes as they watch him go into heaven. But then Luke's Gospel has a "Part 2," which is the Book of Acts. Acts starts with Jesus giving some closing words to his disciples and goes on to show their ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit as these men and women become the church.
Today's reading from Acts sets the stage for what is to come. It starts with an introduction Luke writes to "Theophilus." It's not clear if this is a particular person Luke knew or if it's really an introduction for all believers (Theophilus means, "Lover of God" in Greek.) From there we get last words from Jesus and his ascension into heaven. Here's where our story begins.