Read Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Last week we considered those who were invited to The Table: everyone! This week, we will be thinking about those who share the story, those who send out the invitations. Acts 1 relates Jesus’ final words to his disciples before ascending to heaven. It is his last directive and the first commission of the Church on earth: share the Good News! You are now messengers of heaven! There is the promise of power and authority that will come in tongues of fire during Pentecost, but also the command to share the invitation to Jesus’ presence, the invitation to a seat at The Table. The invitation is for all: including the Jews in Jerusalem, God’s chosen people who had broken the covenant again and again, the Samaritans who lived in enmity with the Jews (including the disciples), and then the Gentiles, or those living in all ends of the earth.
Jesus’ words are an answer to the question, “are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Will Jesus, from the house of David, become the Jewish Messiah and vanquish the Romans? Will he take his place as the King and military ruler? No. His Kingdom expands beyond Israel and Judah. His subjects number more than the disciples or the Jews. His power is greater than Rome. His birth, life, death, and resurrection have atoned for the sins of all people. Now, the first to share the invitation are the disciples! The rest of the book of Acts tells us what a dangerous responsibility that is, but now the table is set, and the people must be gathered!