The Daily Office, June 18

June 18, 2007

Daily Office

The Daily Office New Testament reading today is Acts 1:14.

During Holy Week, I briefly commented on sacrificial atonement theology here.  It’s not an exhaustive analysis, but just some short thoughts.  The gist is this:  Jesus did not die for our sins but because of them.  God’s response to that event was to do what God always does:  create life from death, to go about the business of restoration, which is just what God has always done and always will do.

A few days ago, I commented on the Creeds and how somehow Christianity, especially Anglican and Anglo-Catholic Christianity, has started to think they contain a “sufficient” statement of Christian belief.

Now- onto today’s daily office.  Click here to read the lesson from Acts.  Remember that the author of Luke is also the author of Acts.  Notice that the prologue to Acts is a summary of the significant events of Luke.

Remember also that each gospel has a different focus and slightly different account to move the reader’s attention to that focus– otherwise we would need only one gospel account (thus we have not one “truth” but in essence five truths– four gospels plus Paul).  The author of Luke is focused primarily on Jesus as a prophet fulfilling scriptures; a prophet sent by God.

Here’s the kicker– as the author of Luke summarizes his gospel account in the opening of Acts, there are 14 verses with 360 words.  Out of 360 words, 3 reference the crucifixion– in verse 3 there is an indirect reference with “after his suffering.”  There is no reference to the resurrection; the focus is more directly on the teachings of Jesus, baptism, the coming age of the kingdom, and his ascension.

Now – what does this say about early Christianity’s focus on the resurrection?  What does it say about the “sufficient” statement of faith we have come to embrace?

I think it says that, at least according to Lukan accounts, they are misguided.

j

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