“But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” Luke 24:49b, NLT
3rd Sunday - “Purpose Beyond Confinement!”
It must have been difficult for the disciples, the mother of Jesus, and the other women, who were told to
“wait” on the power Jesus had promised. For forty days Jesus had walked the earth after the Resurrection, and the disciples had finally reached a point where they understood the purpose of His atoning death and Resurrection. A few days ago, many protestant Christians celebrated the Day of Ascension, which signals the beginning of the High Priestly reign of Jesus in heaven. However, the writings of the apostles, especially Paul, lets us know that the spirit of Christ was near, and never far from them. Some Bible scholars believe the group were sequestered in an upper room, above the courtyard of the temple. If this is so, such a place could have been very confining. Human nature generally rejects confinement, but the group that awaited the Holy Spirit found contentment. They may not have been comfortable, but they discovered their purpose. They believed in the “promise” that Jesus declared, and the prophets acknowledged. The pandemic, the first one that has brought such devastating consequences in over 100 years, has truly tested our patience. The waiting for many has stretched their nerves! Perhaps the disciples, Mary and the other women, let us know that waiting doe not have to “weight us down.” Although their wait was only ten days, in the larger scope of their traumatic experience after the events that Jesus endured, days must have seemed like months. They used the down time to worship and pray, and this gave them a clear focus on things to come. We shouldn’t allow our confinement to distract us from seeing the larger picture. I remember being on the campus of Tuskegee University. Of all the grandeur and history, I was drawn to the tiny cabin where Carter G. Woodson engaged in his great experiments. In that confined space, he gave the world 300 amazing products!