Since Easter Monday, we have been following the story of the Early Church as it unfolds in the Acts of the Apostles. The action has taken us from Pentecost to Paul’s imprisonment. We have witnessed Peter’s role in his mission to the Gentiles. We have followed the initial growth of the church in Jerusalem and watched it extend throughout the Roman Empire. It’s a dramatic, inspiring story, but it doesn’t end with Paul’s martyrdom.
Many additional chapters have been written over the past two thousand years. Millions of conversions have taken place, each one its own compelling story of grace and mercy. Countless saints have risen up to give living testimony to the power of the Gospel. Thousands upon thousands of martyrs have sanctified the earth, even as they point us towards heaven.
This extended Book of Acts includes chapters on the Benedictines, the Norbertines, and the Dominicans. It includes the tales of brave missionaries and the stories of church councils. It includes tales of corruption, abuse, mismanagement; but also accounts of holiness, generosity and humility. So many chapters. So many amazing stories of God’s love, power, and provision.
And the book is still being written today, with each of our lives making up another chapter. None of us should think that our lives don’t matter or that we’ll never make an impact. No matter who we are or what role we play in the great scheme of things, we have all been called by God to build up his kingdom, and he is counting on us to accept this calling with faith, trust, and determination. Who knows how our own chapter will read? Who knows what plans God still has in store for us?
One thing we do know: we are all temples of the Holy Spirit, and by the power of this Spirit, each of us can accomplish great things in the name of Christ. There are many more chapters left to be written—with each of us among the main characters.