Waiting…Again… Reflection for the Sunday after Ascension 2018
This week, we experience another Sunday of waiting. On Thursday, we celebrated the Ascension of Christ. He lead them out of Jerusalem and gave them a vision of the Kingdom spreading through them to all nations, but He told them to return to Jerusalem and wait. Then He blessed them and ascended into heaven.
While this is a different kind of waiting than the waiting after Easter, it is still waiting. Luke tells us that the disciples returned to Jerusalem with great joy. They were continually in the temple and devoted in prayer. Our lesson in Acts finds the small band of 120 or so still in Jerusalem waiting, but they are preparing by selecting a replacement for Judas.
We have the benefit of knowing that the waiting for this group is rather short, the ten days between Ascension and Pentecost. We don’t often know how long our wait will be, nor do we often experience the dramatic, clear, and communal presentation of vision that the disciples experienced. However, we can still use these ten days to practice expectant waiting on God.
While we may lack the same specificity of mission that the disciples received, the mission has not changed greatly. The same Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus needs to be proclaimed to all the nations beginning right here. As we wait, consider who in your life needs to hear this message of hope.
While we may not know how long we must wait for the power and opportunity to share the Gospel with this person, we can spend the waiting time as the disciples did. As we come together in the presence of Christ, receive His blessing and worship Him. As we depart, let us depart in joy and devote ourselves to the teaching, to worship, to prayer, and to fellowship knowing that we do not wait without hope or promise. As we wait, let us also consider how we might prepare ourselves to embark on the mission to which Jesus calls us.
As we prepare to celebrate the first fruits, the giving of the law, and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit next week at Pentecost, I invite you once again to practice waiting.