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Ephesians 1:8b-14; Acts 1:1-5


It’s forty days after the first Easter, and Jesus is preparing to commission his disciples and give them what they need to continue his work. But first, he asks them to wait. Wait for the Holy Spirit he told them about.

He doesn’t give them a time frame, like wait until 9am, one week from Sunday. He just says wait. It must have been like sitting at the airport without clocks or flight-status screens. Just sitting there, wondering when it will get here.

We hate waiting! Nothing makes us more tense than waiting (not even talking about money). We want to get on with it, whatever it is.

In a sense, that’s the point. Waiting creates tension because we’re anticipating something. Waiting without tension would just be boredom. (Imagine the same airport with 16” of snow falling. The people there are enduring, not exactly waiting.)

As much as we dislike tension, I think we also fear boredom. We don’t like to wait because what if nothing is coming after all? So we invent things to anticipate, then try to fulfill that anticipation quickly.

Real waiting helps us practice our awareness, to keep an eye toward what God is doing. This kind of waiting can exist in our view of the world in all its complexity, majesty, and sorrow. It can be in our attention to scripture, that great story of God’s work. It can simply be a practiced posture of openness toward something new that God is doing.

Waiting teaches us this awareness: whether it’s watching winter melt into spring on familiar land; attending to the seventh pitch of the third at-bat in the bottom of the sixth; listening to children tell you about their games; or yes, praying in silence, singing hymns, reading, and studying together as the church.

Any of that stuff can be boring beyond belief, or any of it can be unbearably tense. But we trust that this waiting for God primes us to hear, feel, know, and respond to what God is doing in the world, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. So may it be.