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Categorized | From the Pulpit

How long should we wait?

Pastor Richard Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, he spent 40 days with his apostles, teaching while they listened. His teaching was drawing to a conclusion and included their immediate future. We read in part, “wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. (5) For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:4b-5 KJV).  

For some reason, this prompted the 11 apostles, to ask a question. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6 KJV). But Jesus told them plainly they did not need to know. “And he said unto them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power’” (Acts 1:7 KJV).   

I mention this because their world changed in seconds, a world that has some similarities to our world under the dark cloud of a pandemic.  “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).  I think I would have had a lot more questions at that point. “Wait, where are you going?” “Can you be a little more specific?” “How long do we have to wait?” and a few hundred more.   

They are gazing, seeing Jesus taken up, disappearing as he is enveloped by the clouds; well, that’s really not something you see every day. They did many “new normal” things, like learning from someone who was crucified and now risen from death to life. And, they returned to Jerusalem and gathered with over 100 more followers of Jesus. “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren” (Acts 1:14).  

Because we have God’s word in holy scripture, we know these people had been pulled out of their normal lives and called to do something totally different, yet not knowing what. We do know they were in a wonderfully weird place to be; our Lord trusted these folks to continue his ministry on earth, to start the church. This is the same ministry God trusts us with, to carry on faithfully, even in the middle of a pandemic, not knowing what it is going to look like when all the restrictions are lifted.   

They waited and prayed in that upper room and we know what God made of that. Can we, will we place our trust in his plan for us, too, when the time is right and safe? We wait as long as the Lord wants us to.

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