Sometimes the stories of Scripture are so familiar we hear them without catching the tension and drama of the moment. We know what comes next so forget what it must have felt like for those who did not. Acts transitions us from stories of Jesus to the stories of the church. It is the beginning of OUR story.
Today I invite you to step into this first chapter, to reflect on what it would have been like to walk with Jesus, see him live, die and rise again. And then, not knowing Jesus was about to ascend to heaven, hear him say to you, “Stay in Jerusalem, wait for my powerful gift, my Holy Spirit. You don’t need to know how and when the next things will happen, but when they do it will change the whole world."
As you read and stay in this moment, how do you feel? What do you see? What are you expecting?
Then watch Jesus disappear before your very eyes! Here two angels tell you, “Don’t just keep staring wide eyed into space, Jesus is going to come back just like you’ve seen him go?” What might you be thinking and feeling then?
So off you go, in obedience, to wait and pray, and prepare. Replacing Judas so that once again there are 12 disciples, mirroring the 12 tribes of Israel, ready for the Kingdom of God to come. And you wait.
I know you want desperately to turn the page to enter the next amazing chapter. But today just sit with this one. As with the disciples, in our lives Jesus has chosen NOT to reveal to us the dates or the times regarding exactly how and when he will work. And in that uncertainty — like them — we obey, wait, receive and pray.
We often imagine what God will do next, and most often get it wrong. Yet, like the disciples, we have all we need for whatever lies ahead. The Holy Spirit has come upon us. And as we wait, pray fervently and prepare for God to work through us, his church, by his Spirit.
Lord Jesus, we choose to wait on you. We choose to live, in the community of your people and in fervent, prayer. Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Empower us to be your witnesses, ready and eager to tell the story of your love to a world that desperately needs you. Amen.
Carla Olsen Draper
Pastor of Women’s Ministries and a whole lot of other great things!