Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:12-14)
I love my small group at church. We’re meeting on zoom because of COVID, but people in small church groups study Scripture and care for each other. I didn’t have to worry when I fractured a vertebra and my husband wasn’t with me. I had a ride to the hospital and doctor when I needed one.
After the apostles (Luke names all eleven) had been caught staring into the sky, they became obedient to Jesus and returned to Jerusalem (about one kilometer from the Mount of Olives, the distance the Jews were allowed to walk on the Sabbath) and waited for the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit to begin their mission. They turned the upper room where Jesus and his apostles had the last supper to a meeting and prayer room for the apostles, the daughters of Jerusalem, and the mothers and brothers of Jesus. They met as a small group with excited anticipation of receiving the Holy Spirit. They prayed, had fellowship, met each other’s needs, and would soon do mission work as small groups do.
Being in a small group is a gift from God. Jesus started small groups first by asking twelve men to follow him and then commanding his disciples to return to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. Prayer for their mission, love for Jesus, and discussing scripture was common grounds for fellowship. It’s also a way we receive the love and peace Jesus died for.
Father God, Holy is Your name. Thank You for peace, prayer partners and the small groups who support me. Give me the power and gifts of Your Holy Spirit so I can serve my family, friends, members of my small group, and others with love. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.