‘Are we there yet?’
It’s the cry a million parents have heard from the back seat of the car as they have set off on a long journey. It was the cry, and remains the cry of Jesus’ followers commissioned to be his disciples.
“are you at this time.. going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” they ask in Acts 1:6. Jesus’ answer tells them to ditch the calendars and the diaries. “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set… but you will receive power”
Time scales and dates are not to be given. Rather as they wait they will be endued with God’s power. Luke 24:49.
Waiting in lockdown
Waiting in uncertainty is a familiar part of our new lockdown lifestyle. We too find ourselves asking “is this the time when you will restore us to our family gatherings, our friendship groups and social life? With succeeding weeks, the answer remains constant: “wait, it’s not the right time yet.”
Learning to wait patiently is a new discipline for our hurry-sick, speed-addicted world. Patience is the virtue no one wants. Yet if we want to grow deep, rich Christ-formed lives it is essential.
John Ortberg said;
“For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them.”
Waiting: a Biblical practice
Waiting on the Lord has to be a basic biblical practise. You could summarise the story of scripture as an enduring expectation of God’s salvation and restoration.
So this Sunday we are looking at waiting at QPLive as we continue through Acts 1.
Leonard Cohen wrote;
“it is good to live between a ruined house of bondage and a holy promised land.”
He was conjuring up the images of Exodus and the Israel’s wilderness wanderings to describe life in this world.
This picture captures our Christian journey, living between the reality of a kingdom won and a kingdom still to come. Death and evil have been conquered but their presence still dominate our lives.
Questions for Sunday
So as we approach Sunday here are some questions I am puzzling over.
Why are we waiting? What is God’s purpose for these days we live in- would it not have been tidier and better if Jesus had fully realised his kingdom right there and then after resurrection?
How much can we expect of the kingdom to be manifest in these days, and where should we apply our energies and focus to align ourselves with what God is doing?
What does waiting do for our souls? This short season of waiting prepared the disciples to receive the spirit, what can we learn from them as we too wait on the Lord?
Perhaps this season leaves you over committed with demands from home and work, perhaps you have too much time. Here is God’s promise for each of us:
Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Whilst we are not ‘there yet’ We hold on to the truth that God is here. So where is God in your waiting?