This week we will be pondering the ending of Luke's gospel. And the overlap with the start of Acts. And the ending of Acts. It is the last of our 'endings' series.
It has been good for me to spend time steeping myself in these endings, rediscovering what they say, and what they don't say. It is only since I've done this exercise that I've come to appreciate than only Luke has an account of the Ascension (unless you include longer Mark)... I kind of knew this but had never really thought about it, having always mean more aware of Luke's seeming self-contradiction between his two accounts of it.
Anyway, your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to ask yourself why, out of four gospel writers, only one bothers to tell us an ascension story, and if it is significant that this is one of only two with a birth story. For extra points, how do Luke's birth story and ascension story together serve the purposes of his gospel?
A while back, someone suggested to me that they thought there might well have been a volume 3, planned but not executed or written but lost, since Acts ends leaving the way open for more to be told. Let's just say it is this idea that prompted me to plan this little series, and I am holding that thought in mind as I prepare for the sermon.