Day 37: A Baby Church
While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. Luke 24:51-53
Giving the disciples the Holy Spirit was part of Jesus’ mission to create His church, the group of people who would continue to carry out His gospel-mission for the rest of time and throughout the whole world. He had begun forming the church when He gathered the disciples and followers who supported His ministry in life. He had spoken to them about becoming a church before His death, in John 17:20-21, when he prayed, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Now Jesus started treating them like a church--like a group that would be working and living and serving together. He blessed them together before He left. He promised the Holy Spirit to them as a group and asked them to stay together in the city. While they waited for the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers began worshipping together at the Jewish temple.
This shows us some things that are important to carry out our own mission:
- We can’t do it alone! Jesus wanted us to be part of the church, to get and give support as we follow God.
- The Holy Spirit doesn’t work just through individual people, but also through local churches and through the worldwide church as a whole; the unity we should have with one another through the Holy Spirit shows the world, as Jesus said in John 17, that we are also united to God through Jesus.
- We worship and glorify God together. The Bible reminds us not to “neglect... to meet together” (Hebrews 10:25). It was one of the first things the first church did together, and we still do it today.
Jesus prayed for His disciples and also for us, “for those who will believe in me through their word.” That means you and me! Jesus created His church and it is still going on, to fulfill His mission in us and to spread His mission to others, too.
Questions for reflection and discussion
- How has the church shown Jesus’ mission to you?
- How have you participated in Jesus’ mission with your church?
Dear God, please help us carry out everything You wanted from Your church - loving one another, worshipping together, and serving others together. Thank you for giving us unity to work together. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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