Pastor's Perspective 

Beginnings

Dear Church Family,
 
I hope that you are benefitting from our sermon series through Acts. What a wonderful time it must have been to be a member of the church in its beginning. Beginnings is what the book is about - the beginning of the church in Jerusalem, the beginning of the church's spread into Judea and Samaria, and then the spread throughout the Roman Empire.
 
That spread took place because of the incident in Acts that we heard about on Easter Sunday - the martyrdom of Stephen. The subject might seem odd for an Easter message, but I hope you saw the connection in what Stephen bears witness to as he was dying. The stoning of Stephen will ignite the first wide-spread and intense persecution of the church, spear-headed by Saul of Tarsus. You know the rest of the story. The persecution intended to stamp out the church, instead, ignited the first wide-spread extension of the church into the empire. The persecutor leading the opposition would become the foremost apostle of the church.
 
It makes sense, considering that the gospel story is that Jesus had to die to win victory over the grave. God does not merely overcome defeats in the church and in our lives; he turns those defeats into turning points for victory. That is the lesson of the resurrection. That is the hope for us as a new month begins.

Pastor Sam Smith