After the resurrection, Jesus leads the disciples through Witness 101—a fast-track course in how they will become his earthly successors, inviting others to join God’s realm. The twelve appear clueless. They plaintively ask Jesus, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus replies in effect, “Wait. God has a promise yet to be kept in store for you. Power is coming—not just to you but upon you, not just upon you but visible through you. The Holy Spirit will empower you to tell people what I have taught you, what you have seen me do, what we have shared together. You won’t have time to wonder about the coming. You’ll be too busy with people who want to hear good news!” He reminds them to wait in Jerusalem to receive power. Then he ascends and disappears as the disciples watch.
The disciples in this passage hold up a mirror for us today. We often seek our own agenda while remaining unaware of or ignoring God’s agenda. What we don’t “get” about God’s promises usually trips us up. Too often we forget that active waiting may be the best current strategy. We fail to expect God’s active involvement in what is going on and to remember that our work entails prayerful discernment. Some possibilities for reflection are these:
• where active waiting has been missing or present in my life and the results of either,
• when looking inward is more important than looking up or outward,
• some results of paying attention that have come to me through spiritual disciplines.

Creative God, open me to anticipate and receive the power you send to support my witness in the world! Amen.


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