English Standard Version (ESV)
Easter is this amazing moment in the church -- we all stop and take a deep breath and marvel at what we believe. We stop on Thursday and are amazed at the intimacy of the Last Supper, paying close attention to the last instructions that Jesus is giving his disciples in the precious hours before he is arrested. We gather on Good Friday to soak in the sorrow of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, remembering with pain that it is our sin that holds him to the cross, that it is the great love of God that allows him to absorb the sinfulness of humanity so that the curtain might be torn in two, that we might have access to God. On Easter, we gather together with unbounded joy to stare into the empty tomb and celebrate that death is not the end, that God's love triumphs over evil, that our sin does not determine our destiny. What joy!
These stories in Acts of the early church are all the more amazing when we consider how small the seed was -- 12 apostles, some faithful women, and a few others who followed Jesus, absorbing his teachings and wondering at his healing. The Holy Spirit empowered them, sending them out into the world to do amazing things, and in every healing, in every miracle, we read that many believed the Lord. They say what the apostles were doing and joined in the early church. The acts of the apostles were not empty -- they planted seeds that bore fruit, that grew the Kingdom of God.
And we join in this effort, for we are part of the same church. Our actions should go forth and plant seeds, and as we act, as we love, as we serve, may the Holy Spirit enable others to believe.
God is at work, conquering evil, spreading love, and we are part of his church. To God be the Glory!