Dare to Be
Acts is a pretty common literary form in the Greco-Roman world. They had what were called biographies of prophets or people who were major thought leaders. If you were a prophet or a thought leader who had a community that developed up around you, you had followers after your death then you got this treatment.
The first scroll would always be the life of the prophet, the life of the the notable figure, and then the second scroll would be about why the community formed around this person. This is Luke's way of transition. Luke is telling his readers why the church is important. How and why the church came to be. Acts is the story of why the disciples and the apostles were so important and why we continue to have the church.
Our Scripture is Acts 1:1-14.
Jesus took the time after the resurrection. Jesus could have immediately gone back to heaven, but Jesus took the time to be with the apostles for 40 days. 40 days is a biblical number meaning "for a time". Jesus was with them for a time, as long as they needed to be prepared for Jesus to go back to heaven.
When he did leave the apostles were prepared for the next step to become the community that needed to exist in order for Jesus's message to continue to spread. It's really interesting the first thing that they note about this community is that they are united in prayer.
Now we spend a lot of time doing things at church. We spend a lot of time as a christian doing things and not a lot of time doing things that are prayer - not a lot of time doing things that involve just being together and lifting up concerns to God. We need to unite in a community to consider what is it God is seeking for us to do? Who is God calling us to be?
It's notable that the first thing that the apostles did as soon as Jesus left and went to heaven was to try to talk to him again, to pick up the phone and to try to speak to Jesus in prayer.
we get mixed up about what makes you successful. You're not a better church or a better christian because you do things - the number of things you do, the number of worship services or the number of sunday school classes.
You're a better church when you pray together.