One week ago we celebrated the ASCENSION, when Jesus ascended into heaven and his presence was transformed. In three days we will celebrate PENTECOST, when the Holy Spirit came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were staying, filled each of the followers who were waiting and kindled the fire that became the early Church. On more than one occasion this week I have wondered what the followers of Jesus were thinking, feeling and doing as they waited this week and a half.
Jesus, from their perspective was gone, and nothing particularly noteworthy was happening, at least we are not told of anything. All they could do was wonder and wait in obedience to Jesus’ command to wait for the gift my Father promised. I don’t think the early followers of Jesus were much different than you and me. They probably were getting a little impatient, wondering and waiting.
One of the common threads of the Bible is to WAIT! Isaiah 40:31 declares, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” We ‘wait’ on the Lord, we ‘wait’ on the Lord. WAIT! It takes time. When? Today? Not today. We are no good at waiting. We tense up when we have to wait for the trains making their way through Elk River. The weekend is so long when we have to wait for Monday to hear the Doctor say ‘malignant’ or ‘benign’. We wait for nine months, thankfully, for a baby to arrive. Jesus said WAIT for the gift my Father promised.
God seems slow – but we wait. And all of a sudden it occurs to me that ‘waiting’ is also what a ‘waiter’ does in a restaurant. Those who wait on the Lord are those who actively seek, knock and ask what the Lord needs or is asking. Waiting isn’t simply kicking back and taking a nap on the couch. Waiting means to be in our closet, praying, surrendering and assuming the posture of Mary actively listening to Jesus. And then suddenly, like a rushing wind or still small voice, the Spirit of God falls upon us. Two Sunday’s ago Sonja referenced her experience of the ‘Divine Unction’ at the Friday prayer worship at the Q Conference in Boston.
My prayer for each of us is that on Friday and Saturday we will be in our closets praying and waiting for God’s new thing; waiting for answered prayer. We may wonder, maybe we question, but keep looking, waiting , expecting and trusting. God’s new day will dawn; the Spirit will rush once more. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits” (Psalm 130:5).
This week Kaycee Stanley, our Director of Student Ministries, will be bringing the message on the new community that the Holy Spirit creates on Pentecost. Take some time to read Acts 2 as you prayerfully wait for the ‘Divine Unction’ to fall upon you! I began my day today by praying the following prayer to the Holy Spirit;
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth. Lord,
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.