Day 3 of the Great 50 Days: The Promise
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Level 1 (5 Minutes): Sit quietly for 5 minutes and breathe. Focus on the picture here that represents Thomas asking Jesus to show him his wounds so he can believe.
Level 2 (10 Minutes): After resting for five minutes, read the scripture prayer and highlight words or phrases that interest you.
Adapted from Acts 1.3-5 “After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Early Christians celebrated for fifty days after Easter. In fact, they frowned on fasting during this time. Today, we hardly think about anything for fifty days. This Scripture describes Jesus giving his apostles their mission. In this post-resurrection appearance, Jesus instructs them to “stay-put” until the Holy Spirit anoints them. They must “wait” for the promise of the Father, which is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
They have to trust that the Holy Spirit will show up. Do you ever wonder what they were thinking? Do you ever ask yourself if you accept that God will empower you when God gives you a mission? This is really appropriate for me in on April 4, 2018—I trust that the Holy Spirit is guiding the church where I am pastoring—my mission is to point this out.
I ask these questions seriously, because the anticipation of God’s promises is what fuels the Church, and if promises have no value to us—how can we embrace God’s promises? The Apostles had to carry God’s promises forward. They had to be vigilant in their ability to pray, act, and pray again. We know God’s promises because the Apostles were faithful in sharing them with us. Now it is our turn. Will we pray, act and pray again to help us understand God’s promises? Once we do, will we take time to allow the Holy Spirit to empower us? These questions are not rhetorical. Can we celebrate what it means to be Easter people who embrace God’s promises?
Prayer recap: Dear Lord, Your promises are real—and Your plans for Your world are good. Help us to pray with our entire being seeking to know how You want us to act and then empower us to act in ways that celebrate on earth as in heaven. Amen.