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The book of Acts has only one post-resurrection appearance by Jesus and it occurs just prior to his ascension back to heaven. Even at the end of Jesus’ time with the disciples, they still struggle to focus upon the things that matter most. Their concerns reflected their personal desires more than the aims of God so they ask, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” Their eyes and hearts are still blind to the idea of power being determined by where someone sits as opposed to what someone does.
Jesus informs the disciples their focus is in the wrong area because it is impossible to know the time that God will choose to change the power arrangements of foreign rulers. Jesus tells them rather than being concerned about what cannot be known, to wait in the city until they are endowed with power from on high. “When the Holy Spirit comes you will have power, power to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Real power is not defined by where you sit but by what you do. When you receive the power of the Holy Spirit, go and be my witnesses. The word and work of the Lord is dependent upon witnesses who will spread the news. The news is not just the possession of Jerusalem but it is to make its way to city after city until the whole world knows the good news that sin has been defeated and that death has been robbed of its victory.
The power of the Holy Spirit comes to a group of believers who are shut in by a stay-at-home order not from Rome but from heaven. So, in an upper room they wait. While waiting they pray, they encourage one another, they renew the bonds of fellowship and commitment to a cause greater than themselves.
May we learn from their witness as we too are shut in, seeing the shut in not as inconvenience but an opportunity to receive new power from on high. The prophet did say, “They that wait on the Lord will renew their strength.”
Published on Saturday, April 25, 2020 @ 8:24 PM EDT