What did Bradbury mean when he wrote Fahrenheit 451? Many students of literature will give many different answers to that question. The easiest way to know what he meant was to ask him, “What did you mean?” But what if Bradbury is no longer available for an interview (he died in 2012!)? Then we look at what else he wrote about the novel. What if he had not written any commentary on his novel? Then we look for clues in the text of the novel itself to uncover its meaning. Sometimes that is easy, and other times it is difficult. Many Bible books include their purpose, their meaning, right in the text. Let us consider the Book of Acts.
It is written in Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirt comes upon you: and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
What is the Book of Acts about? It is a record of witnesses telling the world about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The book follows the outline of this verse: it starts in Jerusalem, then moves to the surrounding region of Judea, then to Samaria, and finally to the uttermost parts of the earth. Not every act of the apostles is recorded, and some apostles are hardly mentioned at all. There are others who, though not apostles, take part in the proclamation of good news. The time period covered by Acts is only about thirty or forty years, but what a beautiful time that was! The geographic area covered by Acts only extends to Europe, but the anticipation of what is to come, doesn’t stop there – it continues down through the ages, even until today!
The story of Acts is alive and well. When we read it, it invites us to participate in that story. Now, the text is set and will not be rewritten or given a sequel, but the story is unfinished. Every day we have an opportunity to add to that story. The apostles were not men of myth but real people. They faced real problems and had the same struggles and fears that we do today. When we read Acts, we should try to imagine what it would have looked like if we were physically there. When we read Acts, we should try to imagine how we can live out the examples in real life today. Through Acts, God invites us to participate with Him, even in Scott City, KS, today!
Do you want to participate in the story of Acts? Sit down with me over an open Bible, and let’s study how we can do just that! I hope to see you Sunday and 9:30 or 10:45. We would love to see you!