Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. (Acts 1:4)
Tom Petty was right: “The waiting is the hardest part.” Whether it is waiting for a present, waiting to see a loved one after a prolonged absence, or merely waiting at a red light during the morning commute, few of us love to wait. But there are some gifts and experiences that far exceed the pain of waiting: Christmas morning after a cold December, the birth of a child after a tiring nine months, or a wedding celebration after a long engagement. In fact, the waiting only adds to the joy.
I am sure the disciples did not fully understand at the time the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit’s arrival or why they needed to wait in Jerusalem. Jesus had recently been crucified in Jerusalem, so leaving that city and returning to their hometowns around the Sea of Galilee probably sounded like a good idea.
Jesus knew, though, that if they were simply to return to their old lives, they would not continue the mission of spreading the good news of the kingdom of heaven. They needed to remain in Jerusalem, not because the Holy Spirit could not have found them in Galilee, but because they needed to know that Jesus’ mission was just beginning. The power and the confidence they would need to continue in his mission would soon be there!
Remember that Jesus’ mission is not over.
Mark A. Moore, PhD, is an associate professor of theology at William Jessup University and the spiritual formation pastor at Faith Legacy Church in Sacramento, CA.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.