One on my pet peeves is seeing these three words “to be continued” as they appear across the screen at the end of one of my favorite television shows. There is usually a good reason for it but it really irritates me. I think it has something to do with leaving me hanging on the edge of my seat, I need, well OK, I want resolve. I want to know what happens next. The unexpected pause in the story has to wait for another time.
There is a momentary pause, a “to be continued” when we reach the end of Luke’s Gospel before we get the continued story in Acts. If we read scripture as it is sequentially laid out in our bibles today, we read through John’s Gospel before Luke continues his account of Jesus’s life and mission. Luke’s introduction in Acts chapter one sets the scene for what will be the continued work of the Holy Spirit through the apostles. Acts 1:1-2 reads:” I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen”. When I read these two short verses my attention is drawn to the word “began”.
I am reminded of the commonly used phrase “to get the ball rolling”. Luke’s Gospel, his account of the life of Christ and his ministry among us is the momentum that moves us to want to continue sharing the same good news that Jesus proclaimed. The “to be continued” in this sense becomes dual purpose; first, Luke continues his story and secondly, we like the apostles are called to move with and maintain the momentum of Christ’s work here on earth. The book of Acts gives us a clear picture of how this work is to be done, not on our own power but through the power of the Holy Spirit. The work that Christ began for us and in us will carry on as described in Philippians 1:6, we need to walk in confidence that He (Christ) will complete His work when he comes again.