Throughout the Easter season we have been listening to daily readings from the Acts of the Apostles. These narratives come to us from what is essentially the second volume of a two-volume work by the author/redactor we call Luke. The Gospel according to Luke is the story of the Incarnation and who God is in Jesus Christ; the Acts of the Apostles is the story of the birth of the church and what happens after the resurrection; and there is a space created in our reading these two texts that leaves open a third story, which is the story of our experience of the risen Christ in the world and how we are to live as the church, that is the Body of Christ.
In other words, Luke-Acts is not just a two-part story (though it appears in the canonical scripture as a two-volume work). It is more like a triptych, a three-framed depiction in which Luke, Acts, and our story are presented.
What is laid forth in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus is mirrored in the second scene of the Acts of the Apostles, but that third panel remains unpainted. It is up to us to complete the story, to reveal the compassionate face of God in our respective lives, to preach the good news by word and action.
What will that third volume look like?
It depends on who were are and where we find ourselves. Like the Spirit that is sent to the disciples at Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles, the Spirit continues to move among us and within us in the world today. Just as the disciples were sent into disparate parts of their world to preach and heal according to their skills and abilities, so too we are sent likewise in our own times and places.