Anticipating the “Big Day”

skyby Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International

It’s the week before the Feast of Pentecost and exciting things are about to happen.  Jesus’ followers are back in the vicinity of Jerusalem after their encounters with the risen Lord in Galilee.  Doctor Luke picks up the story in the book of Acts from where he left off in what we call the third Gospel, named after him.

Take some time to lead your family on this journey with the Disciples by reading together Acts 1:1-11.  Divide this passage into four parts: verses 1-3; 4-5; 6-8; 9-11.  Give each section a title that reflects the main point of Luke’s writing.  I think you’ll find, with a bit of thoughtful reading, that this part of Scripture begins with a summary and ends with a promise.

If you have school aged kids and older, assign each one of the four parts to a different  person and ask her to ‘teach’ it to the rest.  That is, help her siblings/ parents focus in on what the verses say, mean and mean to you all.  Keeping a family adventure journal allows you to write down some of your discoveries and ways you’ve applied these to your lives right now.

Devote more time to wrapping up this journey to Pentecost by checking out the closing portions of each of the four Gospels, comparing the narratives.  Keep in mind that only two of the authors were actually firsthand witnesses – Matthew and John – although the other two had very reliable first sources for their accounts.  Some take exception to what appears to be ‘contradictory reporting.’  I just find it fascinating that each Gospel has its own, unique perspective and complements the others, making the Story vibrant, multi-faceted, and great reading!

From Acts 1:12 to the present day, we can trace the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Gift Jesus promised before He died. (John 15:12-14)  Through the remaining pages of the New Testament into Church History, this journey is full of challenges and deliverances.  Now, with our global news sources and social media, we continue to track Jesus’ living, worldwide presence.  We acknowledge that our God is alive and well, expanding His Kingdom until every person alive has the opportunity to hear of His amazing grace.

Recently I attended a musical performance that included a rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.  Penned to reflect our American Civil War battles, it can also remind us of God’s eternal purpose to gather all peoples at His great White throne to enjoy His presence for all eternity.

 THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC  

by Julia Ward Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword.

His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

with a glory in His being that transfigures you and me.

As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free

while God is marching on.

Glory!  Glory! Hallelujah.  Glory!  Glory! Hallelujah.  Glory! Glory! Hallelujah.

His truth is marching on!

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