Untidy Faith

Acts 1-2 | Courtney Ellis & Elisa Johnston

October 25, 2021 Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach Season 5 Episode 1
Acts 1-2 | Courtney Ellis & Elisa Johnston
Untidy Faith
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Untidy Faith
Acts 1-2 | Courtney Ellis & Elisa Johnston
Oct 25, 2021 Season 5 Episode 1
Kate Boyd ⎜ Writer, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Biblical Community Coach


Today I’m joined by Courtney Ellis and Elisa Johnston. And the three of us talk about what you do when you’re expecting Jesus to come back quickly, the weird and wild wonder of Pentecost, and what the church looked like when it was first growing.


Courtney Ellis serves as a pastor at Presbyterian Church of the Master. Her books include Uncluttered, Almost Holy Mama: Life-giving spiritual practices for weary parents, and Happy Now: Let playfulness lift your load and renew your spirit  (Tyndale, 2021). Ordained in the PC(USA), Courtney speaks coast to coast, loves Survivor, hates candy corn, and resides in southern California with her husband (and co-pastor) Daryl and three children. Happy Now: Let Playfulness Lift Your Load and Renew Your Spirit with Aspire Press/Tyndale House is available now. Order here!

 

Instagram: @courtney_ellis_author

Facebook: @authorcourtneyellis

Website: www.courtneybellis.com



Elisa Johnston empowers ordinary people to be fully alive while making the difference they were born to make at Average Advocate, procrastinates on Instagram, and brings freedom to the exploited through Blackout Trafficking. Whenever and wherever she can, she explores with her three littles and adopted housemate. Thankfully, God, her husband, and other favorite introverts are all particularly grounding, because otherwise her passion to raise-up leaders, live missionally, and start world changing things would compel her into a creative oblivion.



Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey for me was the Bible itself. You’ve probably noticed that here on the show we love the Bible, and we take it seriously - but not always literally, and that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But you don’t have to let that overwhelm you. I’ve put together the Big Picture Toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story, learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed, and see new connections between Old and New Testaments with a special Bible Reading Plan. If you’re ready to get back to basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start, and the Big Picture Bible Toolkit can help. Grab yours today free at kateboyd.co/bible.




If you enjoyed our discussion, I’d love if you would rate + review on your favorite podcast player. This helps more people to find the show and learn with us. 


Then come on over to social media and let’s talk about it! You can find me on Instagram @kateboyd.co and on Twitter @thekateboyd. And don’t forget to check the show notes to find and follow today’s contributors as well. Thank YOU for joining us, and I’ll see you next time.


Kate Boyd - Book | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter

Show Notes Transcript


Today I’m joined by Courtney Ellis and Elisa Johnston. And the three of us talk about what you do when you’re expecting Jesus to come back quickly, the weird and wild wonder of Pentecost, and what the church looked like when it was first growing.


Courtney Ellis serves as a pastor at Presbyterian Church of the Master. Her books include Uncluttered, Almost Holy Mama: Life-giving spiritual practices for weary parents, and Happy Now: Let playfulness lift your load and renew your spirit  (Tyndale, 2021). Ordained in the PC(USA), Courtney speaks coast to coast, loves Survivor, hates candy corn, and resides in southern California with her husband (and co-pastor) Daryl and three children. Happy Now: Let Playfulness Lift Your Load and Renew Your Spirit with Aspire Press/Tyndale House is available now. Order here!

 

Instagram: @courtney_ellis_author

Facebook: @authorcourtneyellis

Website: www.courtneybellis.com



Elisa Johnston empowers ordinary people to be fully alive while making the difference they were born to make at Average Advocate, procrastinates on Instagram, and brings freedom to the exploited through Blackout Trafficking. Whenever and wherever she can, she explores with her three littles and adopted housemate. Thankfully, God, her husband, and other favorite introverts are all particularly grounding, because otherwise her passion to raise-up leaders, live missionally, and start world changing things would compel her into a creative oblivion.



Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? The greatest tool in that journey for me was the Bible itself. You’ve probably noticed that here on the show we love the Bible, and we take it seriously - but not always literally, and that means that meaning can get a little complicated. But you don’t have to let that overwhelm you. I’ve put together the Big Picture Toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story, learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed, and see new connections between Old and New Testaments with a special Bible Reading Plan. If you’re ready to get back to basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start, and the Big Picture Bible Toolkit can help. Grab yours today free at kateboyd.co/bible.




If you enjoyed our discussion, I’d love if you would rate + review on your favorite podcast player. This helps more people to find the show and learn with us. 


Then come on over to social media and let’s talk about it! You can find me on Instagram @kateboyd.co and on Twitter @thekateboyd. And don’t forget to check the show notes to find and follow today’s contributors as well. Thank YOU for joining us, and I’ll see you next time.


Kate Boyd - Book | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter

Kate Boyd:

You're listening to happy unholy, the podcast for scripture comes to life through a small group discussion this season. As we're walking through the birth of the church in X, you get to be a fly on the wall to see what new things we learn with and from one another as we engage scripture and community. I'm your host and discussion facilitator Kate Boyd. I'm a disciple maker, writer and speaker who is making space in the church for Christians caught in the messy middle, between conservative and progressive. We love Jesus, love people, and work with God and each other for a better world. Welcome to the show. If you're a messy middle Christian like me, sometimes you need a safe space to explore your faith. If you're looking for a community like that than the messy middle Christian Patreon community is up and ready for you to join. If you've listened to the show before you know that we like bunny trails, and rabbit holes related to the Bible, Christian history and how faith and life collide in unique ways. In this Patreon community, you can get access to weekly bunny trails, which include curated content to explore something new, and monthly rabbit holes where I or some friends teach you about the many sides you can take on a Christian doctrine, themes and fun facts about books of the Bible, and deep dives into topics or concepts from the Bible or church life today. Plus, you get a community of other messy middle Christians to explore and discuss all of these ideas. As you process them in a safe space. You can join for as little as $5 a month and get curated adventures to discover more about what it means to follow Jesus in the messy middle. If you'd like to learn more or join, you can do that@patreon.com slash messy middle Christian. Okay, today, I am so excited to be joined by Courtney Ellis and Alisa Johnston as we talk about x one and two. And in these chapters. I mean there's so much good stuff in x that this season is going to be amazing. But the three of us today, talk about what you do when you're expecting Jesus to come back quickly. The weird and wild wonder of Pentecost, and what the church looked like when it was first growing. I hope that you're as excited as I am. So let's jump right in. Welcome everybody. We are here talking about x one and two. This is the first episode of a brand new season. I'm happy and holy. And so I'm really excited to have my guests with me. Courtney, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Courtney Ellis:

Sure. I'm so excited to be here on the happy and holy podcast. I'm Courtney Ellis. I'm a pastor in Southern California at a Presbyterian Church pcusa where I work alongside my husband, who's also a pastor. So we do a lot of church. I am the author most recently of the book happy now, which feels like it'd be a good fit for this podcast. So I'm excited about that. It's a book about God's gift of playfulness. I'm a columnist over at fathom magazine, and I am a displaced wisconsinite living here in Southern California. So I am comfortable in tornado country. I'm not as comfortable in earthquake country. And when our neighbors roll in their trash cans on Monday nights, I always hit the deck because I'm convinced it's an earthquake. We've been here seven years and I'm still doing it.

Kate Boyd:

Well, Alisa, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Elisa Johnston:

Hi, I'm Lisa Johnston. I'm a blogger at average advocate. And I talk with people about how to start making a difference on social issues in the world. Started multiple nonprofits and ministries and guide people through that process. And longtime leaders I tend to do coaching with and guidance with on how to make an impact in the world well and do so while not burning out. Because we see a lot of that I've gone through that a couple times. I'm originally from California, moved a little bit many different places around the world, especially outside of DC for a while. Currently I'm very involved in a human trafficking organization I started called blackout trafficking, so most thrown out a plug for that. And I'm a mom of three kids and a wife and most of the time I just live my life as ordinary person and then I get online and then I'm and then I'm a writer. So that is that is me.

Kate Boyd:

Welcome. Well thank you guys for joining me to talk through acts one and two, which are actually, I think some of the most exciting chapters in the Bible. And so yeah, I think we have a lot to talk about. So we'll jump right in. I'm Lisa, why don't you recap for us chapter one?

Elisa Johnston:

Right, I was kind of excited that I got chapter one, because then I didn't have to remember as much chapter one is more of an introduction, and a beginning to, to x. It's his, it's Luke and his writing to his friend, although some people think his friend is a metaphor for the church, take it however you want. And he starts writing and any takes a takes up when Jesus after Jesus is resurrected, and his with his disciples. And he's talking about Jesus teaching his disciples for another 40 days, and showing in showing the world that He resurrected and making sure that that was like, everybody knew that he was resurrected, and preparing them for the Holy Spirit. And so as he's preparing them, for the Holy Spirit, he has been like, Hey, hold on, the spirit is coming here, some instructions, keep waiting. The spirit is coming. And I'm going to go in, in his people, and his disciples are asking him like, is this now now are you going to bring in the restoration of your kingdom is this the time and he's kind of like, actually, I'm under the authority of the Father. And because pulls out some of those, like lines about authority. And, you know, you kind of see all aspects of the Trinity in this passage, which I thought was kind of interesting. I don't know if anybody else noticed that. But then in, and then he ends up, he ends up kind of disappearing into the clouds. Which is, which is interesting, because a lot of us are like, you know, you hear a lot of commentary about that. And, you know, there's angels there, but when you're reading it, you're not necessarily like, are those actually angels. And as you're reading it, you're also kind of like, he didn't really just, you know, float away into nothingness. But does say he kind of raised up a little I mean, that whole dynamic is a very Sunday school dynamic to me, like where you see pictures of, you know, white Jesus on the clouds? Who

Kate Boyd:

disappears. Yeah, it sounds like a familiar picture. Sometimes

Elisa Johnston:

I yeah. And you know, and you so I did kind of go a little bit into to like, some of the wording on that. And, I mean, he really did disappear in the clouds.

Kate Boyd:

Oh, cool. I mean, well, we can talk about that when we get there.

Elisa Johnston:

Yeah, and I was like, okay, and, and then it switches back to the disciples, because they were given instructions to wait for the spirit and then go out to, to Judea, and outward to Jerusalem today and into the earth. And so they go up to this room. And there's 120 of them, it's the disciples and his woman followers and other people. They're just praying there. And then Peter gets up and is like, Hey, we actually have to adjust this Judas issue, which I actually thought was interesting that they brought it up, because it's not like they had a funeral or memorial service. And I mean, he was there buddy, the you the one who betrayed Jesus, and they kind of go down to the prophecies about like, it kind of had to happen, which sort of made me feel uncomfortable. And then from there, they're like, we actually need a new apostle. So that way, we still have 12. So they throw lots or dice, depending on how you understand that, to choose another disciple, too. That was with Jesus from the very beginning, who could be a witness all the way through which you know, it's always exciting to know, like, oh, there were actually a lot of other people there. And they end up choosing Matthias and it's kind of like a whole setting the stage chapter. And that's kind of in a nutshell, Acts chapter one. getting us ready for the big and exciting Acts chapter two, although I guess to hang up in the cloud is pretty exciting. In that he was there. 40 days, I got really stuck on that one.

Kate Boyd:

Well, yeah, so let's start there. Because we're at, you know, the beginning of Acts. So Luke introduces the book, and he's talking about Jesus having resurrected, and that he was alive and talking to people and convincing proofs and all of those things. So what really sort of jumped out at you guys? Maybe Courtney start with you in that first little bit, just sort of getting us into the swing of things.

Courtney Ellis:

I don't think the 40 the number 40 had stuck out to me before we always talk about, you know, 40 days of Lent and 40 days of Jesus temptation and so that that's mirrored here was really interesting to me that he was around for 40 days, which is a significant amount of time. And there's something so powerful and profound about the final words, someone leaves with you and we spend a lot of time with the final words of Christ on the cross. We do a lot of that with Lenten Easter. But what is it that he leaves them with, and it's this you will receive power and you will be my witnesses. And already the start of this sending out that we see then increase in chapter two. And final words have such weight to them. So to picture the disciples standing there looking up into heaven, and those are the words ringing in their ears, and the words ringing in our ears today, and what is that call? What does that call for each of us?

Elisa Johnston:

You know, what's interesting is that I've always like as a kid, it was always like Jesus's instructions, or I think in some Bibles, it's always like Jesus's instructions. But then when I was thinking about I'm like it, his final words were more than they were more than instructions. It was like he was doing full on teaching with him about the kingdom of God. Like what the kingdom of God looks like, and and you know, his disciples are like, is this the time? And I guess I just, that probably really stood out to me. Because like, within that, I guess, part of me is like, I want to know what Jesus taught for 40 days, like, like this stuff that like, did it inform the Gospels? I don't, I don't know, did did that content kind of get in there. But those are, you know, historical biographies. So they're kind of talking about that time as it comes. But I know sometimes some of those authors can reinterpret it a little bit of the stuff that Jesus said, Did that come from the 40 days? I don't know. And so I guess I got really kind of went down rabbit trailing down that and I couldn't really find very much commentary on it, which, which surprised me, because I thought other people would be really excited also, or get into that, but I didn't really find anybody. I mean, granted, I didn't search like incredibly hard. But I didn't find other people who were very, very much like trying to interpret that except for there's, there's one commentary, I find that we found that was talking about how it was a continuation of Jesus's ministry, which, I guess some beliefs, like New Age beliefs in gnostic beliefs, thought that maybe Jesus kind of like changed everything he taught previously, in that 40 days, and it was just like, these 40 days are interpret, open to interpretation. And so therefore, he changed everything that he said earlier. And I was like, I don't even know how anybody would come up with that. But pretty much commentary was like, it wasn't that he was still teaching about the kingdom. Yeah.

Kate Boyd:

A lot of guesses. But I think that's sort of the idea is that is that we don't know, or what we do know, we would have to surmise from the Ministry of the apostles themselves, you know, yeah, like, how did they live? What did they preach? How did they, you know, disciple and push people to live? So that's sort of what I think, though. Maybe x does for us, like, yeah, gives us some of that picture so that we're actually seeing it unfold in a narrative versus, you know, something long, like the sermon on the mount that is also about the kingdom of God. Right? So we can assume that it's probably in, in those same veins, I suppose. But yeah, so I think it's almost like we're not told, but I think we're shown I

Elisa Johnston:

think so too. And also, like the whole aspect of, I mean, I've always been blown away by how the apostles seem to understand the idea of the resurrection in the context of that so much more, somehow or another after you know, after Jesus resurrected and they moved on and moved forward. I think that maybe in that, I mean, this is my guess, but I think in that time period, that was really when all that you know, it was like this whole season of rethinking and understanding everything that Jesus taught them through a new lens, and understanding those old scriptures because because you see that a lot you see that a lot throughout the epistles about how they seem to understand all this so much more and so much more in depth, which is why we go to them to learn about the resurrection and the Kingdom of God and the restoration and and i think that my personal thought is that that's really probably where that really became more clear to them in that season.

Courtney Ellis:

I think it's, it's interesting to the piece of Elisa you were saying you've heard it as these are the final instructions. And I'd heard it that way too. And I think often especially with children and Sunday school programs, we tend to lean on the this is what you're supposed to do. And there's so much in the first part of chapter one that is about wait for this gift and receive this for me right verse and verse four, right Do not leave Jerusalem wait for the gift my father promised you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and then down just a little bit later and you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. So it's, you will do these things on behalf of the kingdom but you will do them as an outflow of what I'm giving to you your your receivers first. And I think that's such an important point to underscore, especially for those of us who are like I'll get up I'll do it. I can you Don't let me take matters into my own hands. And Jesus is saying, No, no, no, you're about to see me go and you're gonna freak out a little bit. But just be patient. I'm not leaving you alone, there is more to receive, there's more to be revealed. And what a grace, it's not, you know, I'm out. I'll see you guys at the end of the millennia. So try not to screw things up it's way with Yeah.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I mean, one of the commentaries I was reading was like, the first thing the disciples had to do was, wait, that's what they were told to do that, you know, there, he's like, I've given you what I have to give you. Now, you just got to wait. And so they waited, and they prayed. And so it's really, it is interesting, because I know that I get frustrated. When I'm asked to wait. I don't like that. Um, so I can imagine that it would feel sort of the same way when you're charged with being a witness, and you're like, ready to go do that. And then he's like, but first, wait, which then leads us to the actual ascension. So then he's leaving, um, which is I mean, so I was reading that apparently, there are stories of assumption of Ascension for like people who died. And then they ascend to become gods. But what's different about Jesus is obviously that he was alive and he was ascending. And so it's sort of like, mirror some of those myths. But it's got a twist on it, because Jesus is alive and ascending, which I thought was really interesting. But yeah, I mean, what do we think of the ascension and some of the things that are happening there? Because there's, we've got going up, he's giving them again, the charge, there's two angels. That's a lot of things happening. How would you feel if someone ascended to heaven in front of you?

Courtney Ellis:

It struck me how often in Scripture, something totally bananas happens, like something totally out of the ordinary, and Angel shows up or Jesus ascended to heaven? And the response is, why, right? Why are you afraid? I don't know. Because the bow is about to sing. Why do you stand here looking up into the sky? I don't know. Because Jesus just went up to have it. You know, it's such a, it's such a fascinating word to a perfectly normal human response, right? If Jesus had gone up, and they immediately disperse, like, Well, nothing to see here, that would have been stranger. But I think it's not so much a question of, you know, why are you doing this? But it's it's a question that's open, that helps them open up their own souls to wonder, right? Why Why are we looking at what did he tell us before we went right? It's it's not a the teacher is angry question. It's a look inside yourself. What Why is this happening for you? Why are you here? Why are you standing here? It's a way to reflect back into what was previously given to them, I think.

Elisa Johnston:

Benefits interesting. I think my thoughts I actually really liked what you said there, Courtney, thank you. Um, I'll think about that. And I think when I was considering it, I was more So considering it from kind of that perspective of what is heaven. And, and I think that this first comes up a lot when people talk about going to heaven, and where the ID, you know, like, one of the places where the idea of Heaven is in the clouds, you know, and I don't really, I'm not, I don't really kind of have that view of heaven, heaven as you know, place in the clouds, or there's, you know, angels on harps and floating and whatever else, but it was interesting to read it through that lens because I was like, I can see kind of, if this is your only context for what heaven is you're like, Okay, I guess heavens in the clouds. There he goes, you know, he's floating on the clouds. But you know, I've listened to you know, a lot from in tea, right, and other people about heaven in the context of heaven and, and what heaven is and how he approaches this, you know, a scripture and the idea of a place of rest, or paradise alongside God, in that time before, before the restoration of the world, and Jesus returns in resurrects but it was interesting, because I was thinking about it from that perspective. And like, I could see why people think that, you know, if this is your only verse on Heaven, you're like, yeah, I guess he's in clouds.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, it does become a popular image, you know, for us, and not just in the ascension. But even like, like you said, it sort of trickles its way into other things.

Elisa Johnston:

Yes, definitely. Yeah. And it's

Kate Boyd:

curious to me too. He's literally just spent 40 days with them, teaching them about the kingdom of God and he's about to leave and they're like, so are we going to restore the kingdom which I think plus the disciples hearts, like I feel like they're always like, so quick. So close, right? Um, and I, which I relate to, because I feel like that's how I feel a lot of the time. Um, but that it was even that even though it builds on the story of Israel, then we're starting to see how it's about to open up, right? Like, even once we get to chapter two, the whole paradigm shifts, but they're still sort of like stuck in this space, even though he just spent 40 days with them talking about it. Like, I don't know, that's very weird to me. Like a weird reaction, I guess, or assumption. Um, but I guess it makes sense to them probably right.

Courtney Ellis:

They're just always ready for the next thing to happen. You know, like, great, you said this. And now that's let's do it. We're here. And I think that impatience is such a deep human impulse. I feel it in myself, right? We, we know how this is going to end. But let's get there. Right is the what's the line from When Harry Met Sally, when you know who you want to spend the rest of your life, you want the rest of your life to begin as quickly as possible? The disciples are like, this is where we're headed. If the kingdom really is coming, why do we have to go through all this right, all this suffering and confusion and difficulty and loneliness, and let's just let's get there, I get it,

Elisa Johnston:

man. I know, sometimes I kind of want to, like, zoom back in time and like, be like, Guys, we're still waiting to, like, we're still trying to bring the kingdom to I know, you weren't thinking it was gonna take 2000 years, but like, I just I think it would be so hard to like, have that, that belief in that expectation and not have any timelines, like, associated with it. And you know, and when they asked them about timelines, he's I don't know, the timeline. That's up to the Father. You know, and I guess, I guess that is just one of those things that is like, that we're constantly having to process as that God's time is totally outside of our realm of time and our view of time, and that's what they're experiencing in this moment to in straight from there, they have to go, you know, they just they wait, because God instructed them to which I liked what you said, Courtney about that being like a place of blessing and rest and, and maybe even recovery. I mean, they've just gone through a lot of craziness. I mean, insane craziness. I mean, like their whole world just completely shifted. And I guess it really definitely shows that, that God, I mean, at some point, we either have to decide that, even if God gives us really great instructions. And we know ultimately, what he's called us to do. At the same time, we also he also understands our hearts and where we're at and what we actually need, which is not always right away the calling that he's placed on our life a lot of times it's to, to be patient in that, that middle space. And he's okay with a calling not being fulfilled right now. I mean, sometimes he's okay with it not being fulfilled for 2000 years. So, anyway,

Courtney Ellis:

my original, I think the original writers of Scripture would have had some questions if they knew what that word soon meant, that they use in the gospels, the epistles, right, what do they say in The Chronicles of Narnia? aslin says I call all times Zun. Like that.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, that's probably right now, thank you. Yeah. Um, yeah, it's also really interesting. So another place that I read was talking about how it seemed like the disciples were concerned at this moment with the absence of Jesus, instead of like, being the presence of Jesus, which is sort of like a bat, which is kind of the whole thing, right? And he was even talking about how like, Jesus presents himself to be touched. And so now life and love and discipleship means sort of this, like, touching this humanity. And so they're just sort of like, missing that gap. As he goes away. They're like born, where did he go? Where are we supposed to be doing now? And then, but then they become the presence, right? And they're sort of like, are they? They will we're getting there. But yeah, it was just sort of it was a really interesting dynamic to me to think about the presence and absence. balance that I hadn't heard of him,

Courtney Ellis:

and how difficult that shift would be because they'd been walking around with him. They'd been, you know, like, they were traveling with him. They were sharing meals with him. So of course, that's a difficult shift. God is you know, Jesus is still present to you really, because yesterday, you know, he and I were literally breaking a loaf of bread together and now I saw him go up into heaven. And so I think that shift from presence of Jesus to presence of the Holy Spirit and Jesus still present but you can't hug him anymore. You can't feed him anymore. is a really it's a entire paradigm shift.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. And then we move to the replacement of Judas with Matthias Matthias. So yeah, we get there. There's, like you were mentioning in your recap Elisa that they have to be, you know, somebody who was with Jesus from his baptism to His resurrection, which narrowed down the candidates, it seems like significantly. So they ended up with two choices when they talk about what that means. And then they cast a lot what out of here? Or even touching on Judas a little bit what out of here, jumped out at y'all. I always wonder

Courtney Ellis:

how our Sabbath justice, the one who didn't get chosen felt, oh, yeah, you got second place on survivor, sorry, no one will remember you, you were almost

Kate Boyd:

really important. But you're

Courtney Ellis:

right. Thanks for walking around with Jesus and experiencing all this suffering for the past three years, you know, maybe maybe one of the other disciples will betray him in some way. And you can fill in that spot later. We don't know. I just I feel for him. He's not the main character, but I feel for

Kate Boyd:

him. The bummer is,

Elisa Johnston:

I mean, I think that I always am, like, I think I would probably end up being him, because I would just be so like gung ho and be like, I'm ready. And then like, you know, but God knows my heart. And sometimes he's like, there's a little too much pride there, at least. So for you to, for, let's, let's work through this a little bit, let's see if you can actually still, like, be confident enough to follow me even without this label type of thing, you know, because really, it's not like he's gonna stop following. I mean, I would be really surprised if he walked out of that, if you walked out of that room, right there after he didn't get chosen. But you know, at the same time, he's probably still going to be, you know, following Jesus and the way and still bringing the kingdom forward. And you know, but now he's doing it without a label. And that, I don't know, I think that takes like an extra challenge to to, to do in a way where where you can really like Be confident in who God called you to be. So I don't know what was going on in his heart. But I'm like, there has to be something going on in his heart where him and God were working through things together. And and, yeah, I don't know. But I think I would be really disappointed if I was him. him too. I mean, I guess I also get stuck on this is why did there still have to be 12 disciples at this point, like, there must, and I didn't dig into that. And kind of now in retrospect, I wish I did. But I mean, I know that previously, there had to be 12 for a rabbi to be like officialized like for them to be like, you have 12 men that are Jews that follow you, therefore, you are actually an official rabbi. So I don't know if they wanted to, like, keep that going. Because Jesus is still alive, even though he's not there. But I wonder rested or some cultural dynamic?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, most of the stuff that I read, seem to think that it's linked to there being 12 tribes of Israel, so that if we're building off the story of Israel, that the 12 is, you know, sort of symbolic of that in that way. And so that they're keeping that sort of like parallel. Um, at least anything that I read that mentioned, the 12 thing mentioned that, versus something else. I didn't know that about the rabbi thing. So that's interesting.

Courtney Ellis:

I thought it was interesting on verse, verse 20, that it goes from quoting the Psalms May his place be deserted to may another take his place of leadership, which kind of shows that you can prove text anything like what should we do? Oh, I should fill his spot. Right? This is like every debate on Facebook that's flinging around ever. Like No, it says it says, um, but it's never explicitly stated why one over the other and I think, Kate, the 12 tribes of Israel, is that right? Well, we have to keep this number of 12 For this reason, but it was fascinating to me that here's a song that says, hey, here's a song that says z, we're going with z. Let's move along.

Elisa Johnston:

I know I always I'm always like some of those scriptures that they pull out. I'm like, how in the world are they using that to prove their point? Seems so like, and this was one of them, too. You're like really? Okay, well, I'll just believe that was inspired but I'm a

Courtney Ellis:

female pastor. I have First Timothy two thrown at me all the time. Like Have you ever read? I have never Oh my goodness. Thank you.

Kate Boyd:

Oh, that is so true. pretty constant. Well, I'm not even a pastor but it gets thrown at me quite a bit too. So I understand. Yeah and so it is always interesting to me how New Testament authors use the Old Testament because like field testament wasn't written in its time for the New Testament you know what I mean? Like it was like the New Testament written for a specific time and specific situations and to preserve history or you know the profits right to correct what was happening and talk about history and all these things and so it's interesting to me like you said, how they are just sort of like pulling things or even seeing stuff you know, that maybe have been from Isaiah right where they're talking about a suffering servant that wasn't really about Jesus necessarily It was about Israel, but now there's a lens of Jesus on it. Which they point to, because to them scripture, like this wasn't scripture, this was just a thing then scripture was you know, the, the Hebrew Bible which is very which I always find kind of humbling because I don't spend as much time in the Old Testament as I do the new probably, but that's the scripture that they had which is fascinating to me.

Courtney Ellis:

And there's almost I think a conversational piece to it of this is something everyone in the audience would have been familiar with. It's like if we're gonna say with great power comes great responsibility. Everyone's like oh, Spider Man, I know that right? It's almost a this is our shared conversational piece right? Less proof text more well, as it says, but also as it says, so let's do this right they're referencing almost a pop culture thing for their audience should be filled this spot well says this, it says this, let's go this direction. I think there are times and when we get to Acts chapter two, where it's Peter is digging into the book of Joel and the book of Psalms in a way that's really this is what you see happening in this cosmic sense. But here it feels more like interesting pop culture scripture reference, um, you know, not that. I'm not saying, Let's take this scripture lightly, but I do think there's a almost, there's an, there's a communication tool that they're using here. It's it's oratory. It's it's right,

Kate Boyd:

like a subtext that we don't have because we're not there. yet. That is the word

Unknown:

I was going for. Thank you.

Elisa Johnston:

That's it, man. We have to remember that Jesus was there within the last 40 days in probably helping them process Judas is betrayal. I mean, it seems like that would be something Jesus would do like to be like, hey, yeah, you're one of your besties just betrayed me and killed me. It's great that I'm alive again. But you know, like I think I have I would be highly surprised if Jesus and the disciples weren't having conversations about that up into that point. Just because you know, death is a hard thing especially you know, suicide death plus you know, a betrayal death you know, so I think I think that there was also probably conversations that were informing it beforehand, before they got to this point because I mean, they had to be processing Judas is dying before this point. So you know, I think that there's a possibility that came in with it also where you know, it you know, it's possible because Jesus was quoting scriptures about Judas before he died before he was betrayed anyways you know, so you're kind of wondering kind of makes me want to go back to those a little bit and see what Jesus was saying at that point when he was predicting his betrayal and then now at this point where they're like picking up what he previously had talked about

Kate Boyd:

what do you I don't know I yeah, I mean, I definitely think it I think you're right it sounds like something Jesus would have done with them his walk I mean, he was very attentive to how people thought and felt and even how he treated you know, Peter after he came back and you know, met with him and forgave him and cooked him breakfast and stuff like that, that you get you know, I think Jesus was pastoral too, you know, and so I think that feels very like something that he would he would have done I think one thing that sort of stands out at me I guess now because I'm, I'm, you know, post Holy Spirit, but when they're like, Lord, show us you know, everyone's heart show us the right person, and then they cast lots which sort of feels like and I understand that that was something that they did you know, regularly back then but it seems like a weird way to go about this situation considering all the different ways that Paul in the path or not, Paul, that God in the past said sort of like, indicated specific things like I'm going through numbers with a group of people, and so we just got past like the blooming rod of Aaron and stuff. that when he's like, you know, pointing out that no Aaron's definitely the chosen dude. So you guys stop trying to use her pin. And so lots feels like a, I don't know, maybe it just feels a little pedestrian to me like it's simple to normal.

Courtney Ellis:

You know night, it's cuz i know i mean. Yeah. But I believe I believe and I might be wrong but I believe this is the last time that is you, right? There's this idea that spirit is here and we have the gift of discernment and it's less of like stumbling in the dark, looking for a sign and putting out a fleece and more deep inner work kind of thing. But yesterday, too, right?

Kate Boyd:

Are you disentangling your faith from the culture around you? Well, when I was doing that, and as I continue to do that, in my life, the greatest tool for me in that journey was the Bible itself. You've probably noticed here on the show that we love the Bible, and we take it seriously. But we don't always take it literally. And that means that meaning can get a little complicated. You don't have to let that overwhelm you. I put together the big picture Bible toolkit to help you understand how all of Scripture fits together in one incredible story. And help you learn some new questions to ask to get at meaning without getting overwhelmed. And I put together a special Bible reading plan to help you see new connections between the Old and New Testaments. If you're ready to get back to the basics of your faith, the Bible is a great place to start. And the big picture Bible toolkit can help you as you go. You can grab yours today for free at Kate boyd.co slash Bible. Okay, chapter two. Courtney, why don't you recap this for us.

Courtney Ellis:

This is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible. So thank you, for letting me here. And I could recap it for an hour and a half. But if I'm gonna, if I'm

Kate Boyd:

gonna bullet point it in thing Yeah, if I'm gonna bullet point it, I

Courtney Ellis:

would say it goes through three main sections, which are the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. And then Peter elaborates on the signs of the outpouring of the spirit and what they mean, and throws it back into, and Jesus whom you crucified, by the way, um, and then there's this beautiful expression of repentance and 3000 converts come into the church. And then it ends with a picture of really the first church and what that looks like, which was sharing everything in common and holding things together and waiting, waiting. I'm waiting for what's next. So that is a very, very short Cliff's notes summary of Wow,

Elisa Johnston:

that was so succinct.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, well, it's, which is great, because it gives us a lot to talk about, because I think there is. I mean, this is like big deal. Next level stuff, you know. And so yeah, it's Pentecost. So it's 50 days after Passover, during the Feast of Weeks, which is apparently what they do to celebrate the wheat harvest. But it's also associated with covenant renewal renewal, which I thought was an interesting tidbit that I saw so that we're sort of seeing a new kind of Covenant renewal thing happen. So yeah, they're hanging out. And we've got some wind and fire. Come through violin to wind. Yeah, like that. Sounds terrifying.

Courtney Ellis:

This is not blow out the birthday candle, right? This is Yeah. This is

Kate Boyd:

it's like like tornado gale force winds. Yeah, we got some big. Yeah. So yeah, what do we think when the Holy Spirit falls? What are some of the stuff that jumped out at you in this section, Elisa?

Elisa Johnston:

Well, I mean, going back to chapter one, I was I keep getting stuck on the idea that Jesus is like, it's better for you if the Holy Spirit comes. And you know, I think many of us are very much like, actually, we kind of prefer you to be here. Jesus, I really liked Jesus as my sidekick everywhere I go, like, I mean, that seems like a great plan, you know, but then in reality, he's like, No, actually, the Holy Spirit is I'm gonna leave so you can have this. And I think that that really challenges our perception. Especially you know, I my church background is like all over the place. I grew up, you know, Baptists and then went to a charismatic church all through my teens, where you know, we were experiencing the Holy Spirit in very crazy ways. And then, you know, then went to a totally different type. have, you know, thing where it was like multi churches and humanitarian missions work. And then from there, it was like another temperature and now I met a slash Pentecostal Apostolic Church. So back to these Holy Spirit, like big Holy Spirit, you know, type of views. And so I've kind of seen the gambit of people's perception of the Holy Spirit. You know, and I respect where people come from, but because of the things I've seen and experienced, I'm like, there, there's something, there's something happening when it comes to the Holy Spirit. And, you know, like, in my church, they would they'll bring this verse up, like, like, 18 million times in service. I mean, like, I mean, I guess has obviously been a distraction. But, I mean, not distraction. exaggeration, but you know, like, in reality, like this is, like, in some contexts, you get, you get some of us who are followers of Jesus, who are, who are like, really, really, really, really into the Holy Spirit and, and what is the Holy Spirit do? And what can it do for us, because which is kind of weird, because like, the whole point of the power was for them to go outward, and to bring the gospel of Jesus to the ends of the earth, you know, as we saw in the chapter beforehand, but then at, you know, in other places, and other church experiences I've had, it's very much like, Oh, yeah, I guess there's a Holy Spirit, I guess, I guess we should kind of tap into that, even though I don't know what that means. And going back again, to being like, I kind of just wish Jesus was here. Let's read the Gospels again, you know, and kind of avoiding the whole topic of the Holy Spirit. And so I think, I think it's really interesting as, as you're kind of approaching this, because regardless, something happened, and you see this happen, and we see Jesus as value for what the, whoever the spirit is, like, he values he values this, this is God. I mean, the Spirit is God, you know, so um, I think that that really, I guess, as I was reading it, like there was that, that that challenge to be like, okay, Jesus valued this, that much for us. So whatever that looks like, in whatever context we're in, I want to value that the same way Jesus valued that in. So when I was reading it, I was like, I was kind of trying to read it through new lenses, because like I said, I've read this section, so many times. But you know, I don't know, it's interesting. The one thing that I got that I had never gotten before, as I was reading this, is that, you know, you're always kind of like why fire. And I was reading one commentary, and it was talking about kind of going back to the Israelites, where they were following the pillar of fire in pillar of smoke in how they were kind of how it was kind of like a flashback to that. And I was like, that is very, very interesting. And how, instead of one big pillar for the whole nation, it was like, individual pillars for each person over their head, you know, so I thought that was kind of cool, because I was like, that is kind of a good example. Yeah. Like, he leaves and he guides, just like that pillar of fire did for the Israelites. So that was kind of one thing that I took away from this, I never really thought through before.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I mean, and we sort of, if you go back to when the temple was dedicated, there's fire that shows up there too. And even the wind, I think, has some of that. Because we also see, I sort of like to connect it to, you know, wind and breath of life, and God breathing into the, like, being person and so, um, yeah, breath and wind and fire, like all of that is definitely going to be something that I think they associate with the presence of God in a in a very real way.

Courtney Ellis:

Yeah, their response to it to that, that the tongues of fire and the violent rushing wind, and then everyone who is not kind of in this inner circle of disciples gets to experience this for the first time. And then the responses are, they're bewildered, they're amazed. They're perplexed, right? There's this wonder, but uncertainty. And then verse 13, really is the kicker, that some some folks just cannot assimilate this. And so the response is derision that they make fun of them that they must be drunk. It's only nine in the morning, as Peter says, before. What What do you mean, like that you can suddenly speak, you know, all of these languages that you didn't know before, but but I think that is so often how we see the reception of the things of God. Now, for folks who maybe haven't grown up in the church or they're experiencing some of this for the first time there's amazement or the wilderness or, or questions about it. And then, you know, you put it on Twitter, and people will make fun of it, right, this beautiful, holy, sacred thing. And often I see that in my own art. I see that in my own congregation, right. If it's foreign If it's unfamiliar, my first question often isn't is this of God? And how, but how can I poke holes in this? Because it doesn't feel safe, it doesn't feel familiar. I'm not sure I want to go there. And that God, Gods movements often come to us in ways that we don't expect. And are we open to wonder, or are we ready to shut down the doors? Yeah, because cynicism can kill faith so quickly and can can sever connection so quickly, rather than, you know, tell me more. This is amazing. Oh, you silly people stopped drinking at 9am.

Kate Boyd:

I think Yeah. It's funny one commentary I read mentioned that apparently, hecklers were common, when people would speak like this. So they, they were apparently hecklers, even back then. And I also loved the idea of this moment, as sort of like the opposite of Babel, right? There are people who have pointed out that yes, to where it was, like a division of language, then forced everyone to spread out. And whereas now the division of language is actually uniting people, even though they will be spread out, but they're united in a very different way. So like, instead of trying, you know, trying on their own to make it up to heaven or to be with God, God comes down and is with them. And it's this difference of language that actually unites people instead of divides them. And I thought that was just such an interesting way to think about it. As especially in the in the flow of x as we start, like moving through, and seeing how, you know, the gospel does keep, you know, spiraling out further and further away.

Courtney Ellis:

And there's almost nothing that says, This is for you, like hearing something in your own language, you know, there's almost nothing that sets your heart at ease and makes you feel connected. And our son goes to a Spanish Immersion public school, and he's this little blonde kid, you know, that every once in a while, we'll stumble into a conversation with someone where he'll start speaking to them in Spanish, and the first look is usually shocked because he doesn't look like he would know that he's eight years old. Um, you know, but then the second thing is Oh, connection, right? Like there's, oh, we can talk, we can have a conversation. There's something Yeah. And you know, think of times I've traveled in foreign countries, and I'm trying my best at my, my horrendous, elementary, German, or whatever it is, and someone will turn to me in English and just what happens within me. And that so much of the book of Acts is this dispersal of the gospel throughout the world that this is for you. You from Egypt, you from me, you from Mesopotamia, you from Judea, you know, all of these different cultures that are here in Jerusalem at this moment, and it's going to go farther, it's going to go farther, and what a beautiful seeding of the early church and seeding of the gospel here.

Unknown:

Yeah.

Elisa Johnston:

I love what you said about the whole connection, I'm like, and how valuable it makes people feel. When I was when I was a teenager, we were at a church in Mexico. And we had like this really humbling moment where we were like, actually, we're not better than you, I don't really know why we're here. Like, let's just worship God together. And so we worship God together, and we started praying for each other. And it was like, at a time where I didn't really speak any Spanish. And so I was praying with this girl and I was like, God, I just feel like I have to say these things. Right? And I don't know how. So I was like praying and what you know, Pentecostals would call in tongues you know, and I was like, kind of half praying an English half praying in tongues and like throwing in Spanish words every there and I was like, I don't know what it is. But you know, like, and we were all just ministering to each other throughout the church. And you know, I walked away from it not really thinking of it as like, well, I don't know what happened right there. And the girl got on stage afterwards and she's in she only spoke Spanish and she had a translator and she's like, there was a girl who prayed for me. And God spoke to me through her and I understood everything that she said it was amazing and I was like, and I went immediately back to this verse of being like, like Whoa, that actually happened and like completely like changed my paradigm because because I you know, like I saw I saw somebody experienced that connection and that and that like taste of God and I honestly had absolutely nothing to do with it because I didn't know what he was saying. And so like it was one of those things that like really just blew my mind because I was like, wow, God does what he wanted he wants to do if we're open to it and we remove that aspect of cynicism that you were talking about Courtney earlier and and i think that that was like you know, like it's so much for the people but you know in verse What is it verse four it says like it was it filled in equipped, all who were there and I guess I just find that like, amazing to be like, Wow, he wants to equip us like he his goal is for us to feel equipped, and I think that You know like in all the ministry that I've done in my life and you know when I'm pastoring people it can feel so exhausting and it kind of comes back to like what we were talking about earlier that whole aspect of waiting and praying and just being equipped by the Spirit and knowing that the the Spirit of God wants us to be equipped before we go out and you know make a difference in the world and I think that that really stands out to me in this is that his that his desire is for us to be equipped he didn't send us with instructions he didn't he didn't say go to all these places without equipping us He He loves us enough to equip us whatever that ends up looking like with the spirit. I mean, it's so different in so many different situations but I don't know that's just great.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, one of the things I was reading to you kind of going back to what you were saying Courtney, about like learning language he was talking about how when you are learning language you are essentially like submitting to the people that you're learning to write the language because it requires so much more immersion than just learning words right? And and I really loved a phrase that he used he said speak a language speak of people like that's what that is like and then he says God speaks people fluently and so it was really pretty it was just a really sweet way to think about like that's what God was doing was he was speaking people and then he was giving his people like you said Elisa, the equipment, right to then speak of people as well to speak people fluently. And I just I really loved

Unknown:

that people fluently and speak who said that

Kate Boyd:

Willie James Jennings, it's out of his ax commentary. It is a fantastic commentary. I will probably quote him every every episode because he it's really beautifully written I highly recommend it to

Courtney Ellis:

everyone. And I think that beautiful phrase applies not just to language not just when we're thinking or Spanish but also cultures within a culture right so how do you know I'm an elder millennial love that designation? Thank you so much geriatric millennial. But how do I translate this when I'm speaking to the Gen Z years in the college group? And how have folks in the boomer generation translated it for me, right? It's, it's cultures within a culture to because what we're finding we're doing an alternate Bible study on Philippians right now and we're trying to be in the same study throughout the generations in our church and you can ask the same question of someone who's 80 and someone who's 20 and it may hit their ears completely differently so so much of gospel work is translation work and that might be language but that also might be cultural language that might be you know, generational language and how much of the work of God is enabling us to love a people well enough to know them well enough to know their language and what a challenge that is for each of us because our there are so many layers even within my own Orange County church

Unknown:

to build the bridges all those bridges

Kate Boyd:

so then we get to Peters Peters speech.

Unknown:

Peter has things to say

Kate Boyd:

yes, he often does Peter is not often without work

Courtney Ellis:

but we see him right like he's got it now finally after fumbling bumbling, bumbling in front of this crowd speaking fire Yes, finally come along for him

Kate Boyd:

it has finally clicked and that it's happening and that's what I think two people were pointing out is like it happens after the Holy Spirit now he gets it there's a that sort of like was the last click right into position and um, so that as he stands up and and you know, sermonize is he's not doing it in his own power it is in the Holy Spirit. And he is also surrounded by all these people who also have the Holy Spirit and our outpouring that and yeah, and they were talking about what he was quoting because he's an angel. And it how it's really about you know, the spirit coming on people and then being able to like prophesy and be equipped like all these things that we've been talking about and how it's available for everyone you know, the flow of it is further than then it was before so it was really interesting. Again, the Old Testament and the New the way he's sort of plucking this thing out of its different spot, but it's it works in what he's trying to accomplish. And I think that's one thing I noticed this time I just never really thought about the fact that they were like Jews that lived other places. But we're in Jerusalem, but it does. I don't know. makes sense because they were there for a festival. So it's not like people who weren't Jews would be there for that purpose anyway. And so this is something that they would be familiar with, you know, sort of like Paul later will speak the cultural language right of the people in on Mars Hill. Here we see Peter, in all of his Jewishness, speaking out of that Jewishness to all the people.

Courtney Ellis:

And again, verse 17, this is their 16 into 17. This is what was spoken of by the prophet Joel in the last days. So this is the last days This was 2000 years ago. So take that take.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, that's certainly makes everyone being like, well, it's the last days now you know, me anymore. grain of salt.

Courtney Ellis:

Right? Our senior pastor, because every once in a while, we get someone who's like, it's the end of the world. And he's like, yes, we're closer now than we've ever been. And I love that answer. Because that's true. No matter what that is.

Unknown:

Um, yeah.

Kate Boyd:

Anything for you Elisa in the in his speech?

Elisa Johnston:

I mean, I generally speaking like it. Yeah. I mean, he did a really good job, like really making it making the whole idea of Jesus understandable. And I think, you know, in verse 36, kind of wraps it up. Now everyone in Israel can know for certain that Jesus, whom you crucified is the one God has made both Lord and the Messiah. So you know, is kind of a, you know, in a way is very much like the introduction to like, hey, all that stuff you saw with Jesus in the past few years, and it doesn't make sense. And here's all of this, and I'm just gonna sum it all up for you why this is the Messiah, and he's actually resurrected, which is an impossible, amazing feat, you know, and I really, I guess, I find it as very much like a, like a stable ground, almost like, Hey, this is this is what we stand on, this is what it comes back to. And in and why we why we stand on the resurrection and why it's such a big, big deal, whether you're, you know, Israelite, or whether you are, you know, a Gentile, like, like myself, you know, it, I think, I think that it gives a really good example of that, about the, the importance of that. And I think that's something I've been meditating a lot recently, like the, and I know that you and I actually have had some, like random Instagram conversations about this, you know, about like, the the amazement, the amazingness of the resurrection, and how quickly we lose that. And I remember a few years ago at listening to him, Andy Stanley speak, and he was like, hey, people don't read the Bible at a very much anymore. And it's really hard to get them to do that. So like, when we're talking to people, let's just always go back to the resurrection first, because we can, at least, at least, like there's so much at stake on that. And I feel like this in that has kind of really stuck with me over the past few years. Because there's true most of the time I can't have Bible studies with people in most of the time. I can't. Like they're not like they're not that interested. I mean, they're, you know, maybe within the church they are but outside of the church, a lot of times that is not the case. But when it comes down to like, you know, what I would I talk about when I'm talking about advocacy work, or, you know, making a difference, it always comes down to this idea of this, the resurrection in the, and the, the fact that that God is coming to restore the world, and it's always at stake on this point, this point that Peter is making right here where he's like, Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus is resurrected, Jesus is still alive. This is worth worshiping, and giving her life's too. And I think that really for me that it comes back to that being like, Yes, Yes, he is. I can come back to this over and over and over and over again, because this is really like the nutshell of it. All right here, right in this little spark. And so I guess, I guess that's the way I perceive it is very much like, yep, this right, yeah. mistake. I'm

Kate Boyd:

definitely putting a stake in the ground, and it works. A lot of people. A lot of people get saved that day, which is amazing. I know.

Elisa Johnston:

Which is amazing. Yeah. Yeah.

Kate Boyd:

So the converts and the baptisms. So was it 3000 people added? That's, I mean, that's like Billy Graham level stuff.

Courtney Ellis:

We had a stadium. It was amazing. And I love how as Peter, the story of the agency is always God's right, we see again and again, like God has done this, God has done this, God will send this spirit verse 24, God raised Him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it wasn't possible for death to keep it hold on him. I'm working up an admin series right now for our church and reading Fleming, Rutledge, his book Advent. I don't know if you to know her, she is one of my favorites. She's brilliant. But she writes that the church is not called to be a change agent. God is the agent of change. The Lord of the cosmos has already wrought the great exchange in his cross and resurrection, and the life of the people of God is sustained by that mighty enterprise. the calling of the church is to place itself where God is already at work. Oh, wow. And oh, I love that. She's amazing. I want to be just like her when I grow up. But she, she just unpacks this and we see this in this chapter, right? God, death can't keep its hold. And then the people hear this story that we have crucified this Lord and they're cut to the heart. Where are we? Verse 3037? They're cut to the heart. They say, what should we do? You know, like, we can't undo it, like it's already been done. And Peter then says, Repent and be baptized, right? And again, you've realized the error, turn from it. But then everything else is from God, be baptized, received the gift of the Holy Spirit, right? There's grace, there's forgiveness, there's God, God's agency at work. All you need to do now that you've realized is, is to open up your hands. And what a beautiful reminder that is for each of us who are on this path, that it's not try harder, but it's, it's again, open up your hands, the Lord has done it. The Lord is doing it. The Lord is at work all around. I just I have always loved Peter, and there's something about seeing him come into his own because of the work of God in his life. That's so it's just profoundly moving. God is at work.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Hmm. Yeah, I was reading to that. Baptism, it wasn't a completely foreign thing. They had some sort of like, baptism, baptism practice, which is why there are these pools here for them to even do that right now. But that it was normally like, for when Gentiles were, could be baptized and become part of the Jewish faith. And so for all these Jewish people to then be baptized, was definitely like a commitment and very public and very, you know, different from what the expectation was. So it was really like, they, they too, were putting a stake in the ground as they did it, which was like really big for how they would normally have treated baptism. Also, they were they were probably naked, which is cool, which is weird, but that's really yeah, they said, there were a lot of rules. And so they were probably gendered. Right, there would be women in one area, men in another. And usually they were baptized by like, they dumped themselves kind of

Courtney Ellis:

apparently, pack your son trunks pack your HR Eastern swinter. So

Kate Boyd:

they were like, yeah, they were probably naked. But, like, at least that's how good they did it. I don't know if that's how they did it here because we're in a different, like, they're obviously being baptized into something different, but that's how it used to happen. So there we go. Fun fact,

Elisa Johnston:

it's interesting that the whole baptism thing, you know, in, in the, in the pennant costal some of the Pentecostal churches, they have this very strong view of you must be baptized in the name of only Jesus, which have always, which has always kind of, like, confused me, because I'm like to say, Jesus said, you know, like in, in Matthew 28, he's talking about, you know, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Spirit. And then so I've kind of been like, well, in the, the, you must baptize them in the name of, well, Peter is saying that he returned God, each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus. And so I've been looking into that recently trying to understand where why that's like a why that's a big deal. You know, and it's interesting, because I ran across some commentary was talking about. So similarly, like how, you know, the Jews, they, they didn't need to be baptized in the name of God, because they already obeyed God. And they didn't need to be baptized in the name of the Spirit because they already believed in the spirit. In the spirit, baptism was looking different than the water baptism. But Jesus like the belief that he was the Messiah, that would be life changing for them, because that was something new to them. And it was in in this passage, Peter was talking about baptizing them in the name of Jesus, for the context of their belief in Jesus. Whereas you know it when Jesus is talking in in Matthew 28, he's talking about going to all the ends of the world where you're, where you're meeting people who might never even believe in a god they might not believe in a spirit and they might not definitely don't believe in a Messiah Jesus, you know, and it was interesting because they were talking about, about the idea of when you are getting baptized, it's it's making sure that you do You believe you have this belief in God in the character of God in all these three parts versus, you know, believing, you know, like, the Pentecostal church would be like, Well, Jesus is all these three parts. So we're just going to use the name Jesus to prove that he's all three parts, which I find interesting. So it was kind of it was kind of funny to run across that commentary talking about like, like when, and really the, the point of it was saying, hey, when you're leading people to God, and you're in, you're helping them when they're ready to get baptized, like make sure that they understand God's character in these three parts, which I was like, this is very, this is very interesting, but it was like one of those things that I didn't really think was a big deal to a lot of people, but it is it's a huge deal to a lot of people, like, like denominations are built on it. Like this is. This is fascinating. And it's right here in x two along with everything else in x two, right?

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I guess I never really, I never caught that. It was just in the name of Jesus Christ here. And I know that it neither did I. Yeah. Interesting, interesting little rabbit trail we have there. Um, okay, yeah. So then we see the new community being formed, right? So we've got the four things they do devoted to teaching and fellowship to the breaking of bread and prayer, and then how they share life together and share their things together. Yeah, Courtney, what did you think about that part?

Courtney Ellis:

I think it's such a beautiful picture of what the early church was, right? What are the main things we're going to eat together, we're, you know, and celebrate the Lord's Supper, we're going to pray. And we're going to make sure that those who are in need have what they need. And we're going to share what we have with one another. And I see this beautiful, ideal picture of what the church can be. And then I see every person I know who's tried to live in any sort of Christian commune have an end badly. So I think they're read, it's aspirational. And it's also I so wish, there were 20 more verses about and make sure this and make sure that and check here and check there. And I think, um, there there is, there is grace in how short it is, but also invitation to figure out what this will look like in our particular context. And what we have to be careful not to do is say, Well, that was fine for them. This doesn't apply to us, which I think we do so often. And literally, this was their context, or they thought Jesus was coming back on Friday, which they may have, right, these are the last days these things are happening. Let's get ready to take this and say, Okay, these are the things that are essential. So who within our church community is in need, who within our outside community is in need? And how can we share what we have, I have a friend who lives in Chicago and just has a car that says it's God's car, and the keys are in the ignition, and it's in the garage, and if you need it, and I think there's, there's such an invitation to how we can creatively live with what we have within our immediate context. And also this reminder of the central things of what church are because it is so tempting to just build programs on programs on programs and forget what's that? Oh, yeah, and one thing COVID has really shifted in our churches, we had to pare back so much. And now we're bringing some things back. But we have the opportunity to say what actually is essential, and what actually is helping us love and serve our neighbors and the way Jesus would versus just being a thing that's fun to do. Because we may not need more things to do. So I love that this, this really is the heart of the matter when it comes to thinking about what church can be should be is called to be.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, I love that I that. What I was seeing when I was, you know, researching for this was that was that it was less about them, like doing it and more about their willingness to do it. That they were that they saw each other and even they were saying like, what was it, like Greek associations would usually meet monthly and like so when they were meeting day by day, it really had more of like the family feel. So they were really more like in this very close knit things than you know, just like your family member, you would be willing to give something in order so that they are healthy or happy or taken care of, you know, and so, yeah, I think though a lot of people like oh, it's, you know, this idealic thing that nobody's ever going to actually be able to do. But it's not really about. It's not really about what it was this like, but it was how they decided to how they responded to their faith and lived out this value that they saw In the kingdom of God, which I thought was really interesting and helped me think through it, because some days I'm like, yeah, it would be great to live in a commune. And we just always, like, do our thing, and everyone just share stuff. But that it's not really about that it's about, it's about the willingness and the desire to take care of one another, which I think is really was a helpful paradigm for me in this. Yeah, dude.

Elisa Johnston:

I mean, and I do think that there's some intentionality in it like, yeah, like I, I mean, I don't live in a full blown communion. But I've lived in a context that was very commune like, and it was a great experience. And although we didn't share everything we had, we still had our own bank accounts. But when somebody you know, needed something we would consider and be like, hey, what are we going to do about this guys? Did you know the thing which

Courtney Ellis:

you gave us a few say, toothbrush? Because that's aligned for me? Right? Everything in common, may not also include oral,

Kate Boyd:

yes, certain hygiene products.

Elisa Johnston:

You know, in and I was, I heard the idea of, like, should we take this as prescriptive or more of like, a challenge to consider, like, how do we be intentional about living life together, and I and I kind of like that dynamic, because I think it's very easy for us to, to become to become very self focused, that's kind of our natural state. And it's very easy for us to build programs, and it's very easy for us to, to do everything except for be vulnerable and authentic with each other. And I mean, in my experience, you know, I've been, like my desires to build and be part of missional type communities. And within those, like, you see discipleship happen, because you're living life with people, and they see how you respond, when you're, when you yell at your kids. And you have to say sorry, like, like, there's these dynamics that you get when you actually live life together, that are authentic and real. And it shows you how the gospel Can, can penetrate those aspects of your life. But when you are, when you're protected, and you're only going to like events in, in small groups, you can put up a face and a facade. And I think that that's why there's so much sadness associated with the church right now is because many people have only experienced the church in the context of a whole bunch of facades and a whole bunch of programs that not necessarily are bad, but they are lacking the authentic reality of being the church and living life together. And so I think that, you know, looking at these verses, it's like this challenge to like, live life intentionally with each other where, where people really see who you are, where you are actually being, inviting people into your homes and being real with them. And it's uncomfortable, and it's hard. And it doesn't mean that we're going to just like magically be good at it and setting ourselves up for it. But you know, like, I, I know that we used to have a practice where I mean, we've usually my family has always had somebody live with us that we're intentional about discipling, which has been a challenge. And we've had to learn how to make really good contracts and how to help people through their life experiences and protect yourself at the same time, you know, but at the same time, like, you know, we used to have practices where we would always have people over for dinner, and we fell out of habit of that. And that's something I've been really convicted on in the last, you know, few months, because I'm like, I have lost my ability to have people, people see me as I am, and live real life with him because I want to protect myself to a degree. And sometimes that's good, but a lot of times like I'm like, I can open up my house two nights a week, I can be intentional about getting a frozen lasagna. So that way, there's enough food for us all, you know, rather, that you know, and I've been kind of challenged in that being like, I have to start doing that again. Because when I saw myself discipling people well in living as the church well, and really being connected to people, that was when I would have people over all the time. And so I think that it's more again, about intentionality, and like living that way being leisure, okay, we might not all need to move into communes. And maybe that's not the best choice. But is there something that we can do? Like, is there a step we can take to become more like, more like this? Like, because if the broad church you know, for whatever reason, you know, you have another extreme COVID crisis, you know, you see that you're like, what remains? Oh, wait, we don't really know how to live life together without a big church structure. And so I think that that's been a huge and beautiful challenge for us as a church you know, the church, universal church as a whole through COVID is that it brings us back to these verses were like, wait a minute, how do we do this again? Okay, let's come down to some basics that we see here and X to like, can we live in?

Kate Boyd:

Because even Can we do it better because of this time, you know? Yeah, like you were saying For me, this is a great time to be intentional and to be sort of pruning the things that maybe don't matter or aren't working or any of those things. Now you can ask your questions, you've gotten the opportunity to refocus on the things that matter and the intentionality of all that. Okay, it's time for our meat thoughts and our wheat thoughts. And, Courtney, how about you? What are your takeaways there?

Courtney Ellis:

My takeaways really landed me at the last verse of chapter two of the people were praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And I think there's a question of neighborliness there that, you know, there are historic times where, where it doesn't go so well for the church. But am I personally living in such a way that people? People want to be my neighbor? Right? Am I the person in the neighborhood who is kind and gracious and loving? And I think that's a mean question and a weak question, right? Are we enjoying the favor of the people? Not just the people within our church? But you know, are we are? Do our health care workers feel loved by us? Do our garbage men feel loved by us? Does our mailman feel loved by us? And the If not, is it something gospel centric, where we're offensive to the world? Or are we being jerks? And I think that's a really important question for me and for us and for the church as a whole. If we're not enjoying the favor of the people, because we are being wise and kind and gracious and loving. Something is off. And that's a that's a question I have to work through in my own heart as well, because sometimes I just have opinions that are so strong, and I'm so sure I'm right. Yeah, coming out, guns blazing is not it's often counterproductive. So even on behalf of the gospel, especially on behalf of the gospel, are we enjoying the favor of that? I think is a question for me and for

Kate Boyd:

all of us. Yeah. kind of goes back to that translation thing, right?

Courtney Ellis:

Yeah. Yeah, I had a friend, I went to graduate school. And before I went to seminary, I went to graduate school for English literature. And a woman in my program, at one point was like, Wait a second, so you're a Christian. I was like, yeah, and she goes interesting. I always thought Christians were kind of like circus freaks, you know, but you're, you're pretty nice. Like, I'm gonna take just not just not being a jerk for Jesus can preach really loudly on it Really? Can

Kate Boyd:

we should get a T shirt? Just not be a jerk for Jesus.

Elisa Johnston:

I would wear that was free. I would I would wear that I would wear that.

Kate Boyd:

At least so what were your your big takeaways?

Elisa Johnston:

I mean, I think going back to kind of the view, Jesus, the value that Jesus had of the Spirit has kind of gotten me thinking all week, because you know, and I think that's a good question for all of us to is, is Do, do we value the spirits equipping the same way Jesus valued? And I and I've been asking myself that this whole week, I'm like, do I do I value the spirit in the way that he did? I mean, like, just perceiving his his, his view of, of what the Spirit would give us and how it would equip us. And I guess I just find that beautiful and mysterious in that question, I just really want to go into it and explore it a lot more to be like, what does it mean to value the spirit, the way that Jesus values the spirit? What does it mean to be equipped with the spirit of the way that Jesus the way that Jesus wanted us to be equipped with the spirit and kind of challenge myself in that and, and I think that a lot of people that I know, could use that challenge also to ask that question for themselves, too. So I think that would probably kind of be my you know, my main takeaway, although, obviously there's, there's a lot of good stuff, and they really are the ones the ones that you know, Courtney was talking about, like all these ones about being intentional. Are we being a jerk, jerk for Jesus? Like, I mean, are we living as the Community of Christ? I think that that's another really huge one. Is there a step I can take in that direction? Yeah. To live more like the the community of the way in the early church. I think that that's really another one that you know, like I was saying, I've tried to challenge myself to open up my home a couple nights a week and dedicate time to do that in Carve out that space just to be intentional, which meant last week, we had a very awkward, you know, dinner conversation with somebody, but I think they felt very loved. But I think I think that that that is a beautiful start that you can be like, I don't know where that's gonna go but so

Courtney Ellis:

just Don't be a jerk t shirts and we need happy to be awkward for Jesus t shirts.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah, we're gonna do I think we will I like it. We're gonna do going I do to merge merge based on this. I like it. Um, yeah, so I would say my takeaways. For me personally, I think I'm Elisa, you were kind of thing to this. I, I think I I get very, I'm very, I'm a competent person. And so I get very in that and very stuck on what can I do in my power, whereas this whole thing is about how the Holy Spirit is there and how the Holy Spirit's empowering and how all these things that happened didn't happen, because Peter was a great speaker. And he was a great speaker, because the Holy Spirit gave him speech. And so I think, like, remembering that for myself as important, and then if I'm thinking more of like a community wide, I'm more of a we thought. I think it's it goes back to what we were seeing at the end, like, what does it look like to be the community of God? What is important? And what do we need to focus on as a group because we tend to, I tend to even add a bunch of layers onto things, a bunch of hoops to jump through a bunch of things that need to happen or be done. And instead, we can like, what is this simple, easy, maybe not easy, but simple things to focus on and prioritize in time together, and in relationships together. And the sort of, like willingness to give of ourselves that we can cultivate, and I think that's, it's a tall order, but I think it's important that we start working towards it. So that's sort of what I'm taking with me.

Courtney Ellis:

I love the word cultivate, too. That's such a beautiful organic, it's not a try harder. It's like 10 the soil so that these things can grow. Thank you.

Kate Boyd:

Yeah. Thank you so much for joining us today. If you enjoyed this discussion, I would love it if you would rate and review the show on your favorite podcast player. You know the drill. This helps more people find the show and learn with us as we talk through Scripture. And then I would love if you came over on social media to talk about what your big takeaways were, what your me thought and we thought were from our discussion are for when you dove into these chapters. You can find me on Instagram at Kate Boyd Co. and on Twitter at V Kate Boyd. And don't forget to check the show notes to find and follow today's contributors as well. Thank you for joining us, and I'll see you next time.