Wait for the Promise
Jesus presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:3-5)
Wednesday, Sixth Week of Easter
Almighty God, You have called Your Church to witness that in Christ You have reconciled us to Yourself. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may proclaim the good news of Your salvation so that all who hear it may receive the gift of salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
Waiting is difficult. We are impatient. How we long for the world to be “back to normal.” The longer we wait the more the words “back to normal” seem to take a different shape than we remember. What will “normal” look like in the future?
Jesus tells his disciples to wait for the promise of the Father. They were about to be “baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Jesus words, not the Pentecostals!). God was going to unleash upon the world the promise of the outpouring or baptism of his own Spirit. The barrier between God and man is breached at the cross. The veil in the temple that separated the Most Holy God from sinners now is torn apart (tradition says the rip in the thick veil started at the top and ripped all the way down the moment Jesus died!). Now people have access to God directly, without the mediation of priests or temple sacrifices. The one sacrifice of God’s Son is sufficient and atonse for the sins of the whole world. Now by believing and receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, any person, no matter how much they had offended God in the past, is forgiven and saved from eternal peril by God’s grace alone.
This is truly good news! The kingdom of God is unleashed on the world!
In God’s time. Not a second before. Not a second later.
And so they waited. For the disciples they would wait only another 10 days. God’s people as a whole had been waiting for thousands of years for this moment. Now no more temple of stones. Now God dwells in a temple made of people born again and made new by the Spirit.
Our mission? To bear witness of what God has done in Christ to the world. In the words of Jesus, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
The wait is over. As Christians, no matter if we are living in “normal” days or waiting for things to “get back to normal”, our mission is clear: Give people hope. help and healing by leading them to Christ with the help of God’s Spirit living in us. May it be so with the help of the Lord!
Peace to you in Christ,
Pastor Langdon Reinke
P.S. Hope you and your family are healthy and safe. We are in this together. We have help available if there are needs. Please let us know.