My Facebook has been filled this week with pictures of school award ceremonies (and I’ll confess, I’ve posted a few pictures myself!). We’re coming to the end of the school year and anticipating the beginning of summer. In the Christian calendar, we’re also coming to the end and anticipating the new. This week marks the end of the season of Easter, the 50 days following the celebration of the Resurrection. For the 11 disciples, these days were marked by time with the risen Christ as he continued to teach them about God’s Kingdom and preparing them for what’s next.
“Before he was taken up, working in the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus instructed the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed them that he was alive with many convincing proofs. He appeared to them over a period of forty days, speaking to them about God’s kingdom. While they were eating together, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised. He said, ‘This is what you heard from me: John baptized with water, but in only a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” (Acts 1:2b-5)
What follows next is a conversation between Jesus and the disciples in which he gives them very specific direction about what they will do by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then, according to Luke, Jesus is lifted up out of their sight by a cloud. (Acts 1:6-11)
So then what do the disciples do next? Remarkably, they don’t react, they don’t go and do anything. They take a “significant pause” as Karl Barth has said about the days between Jesus’ ascension and the Pentecost. They go back to the upper room to wait and pray. We don’t know what they prayed for exactly, but we do know that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was with them. And I wonder if perhaps she guided the disciples to pray with her the words she spoke upon hearing from Gabriel that the Holy Spirit would come upon her.
“Let it be with me just as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
Sometimes we need to stop and wait and pray, whether we’re at the end of something or preparing to embark on something new. Pray for the power of the Holy Spirit and for a willingness to be available to whatever God might have for us to do.
I’m praying for you. I hope you’re praying for me.
Glory to God!
Pastor Mary Beth