Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Conclusion to the Book of Acts

Pastor commented in Bible class this week that Acts ends abruptly. If you're reading about Paul, you don't get the end of the story. There are several things you continue to wonder about. It seems unfinished.

Theologically, that reflects the truth that the story doesn't end with Paul. "All the things that Jesus began to do and teach" continues in the Church with the apostles and even after that, through today and until the end of the world.

Okay, I've heard that before. Maybe you have too.

What crossed my mind today was "So what did Luke think about this?" Did Luke get hung up on finishing the book? Was it on his to-do list for months and then years? Did he keep thinking that there was more that needed to be said? But when he didn't get it said, he finally just had to give up on the project of finishing the book? This is probably naughty speculation. But I wonder sometimes how our good plans and good intentions may be thwarted by God for a reason that never ever crosses our minds.

1 comment:

  1. When discussing the ending to Mark at seminary (and how in the oldest manuscripts it ends so abruptly with "and"), I know one thing that was taught was that maybe it ends so abruptly, because the "and" is the continued in the church. I don't know if that's right or not, and it wasn't taught dogmatically, but I always kind of liked that idea. When Pastor was talking on Sunday, I had the same thought running through my head.

    I was also thinking that here Paul is, on his way to be martyred - and I imagine that when the church reading this is a martyr church, there is great comfort in the way Acts ends. Paul is awaiting martyrdom, and we await it with him. And "this is what we do" (teach, preach, celebrate the Eucharist) while we wait.

    Just another thought to add to the bunch.