Summary: Sometimes, waiting isn’t such a bad thing. Sometimes, waiting is a gift from God.
Wait a moment.
(Pause for a time)
Waiting. It seems sometimes that all we do in life is wait. We wait in line at the market; We wait at the traffic light; We wait for the Advil to take effect; We wait for the commercial to be over; We wait for the shower to get warm; We wait for financing to come through; We wait to be heard; We wait for life to turn around; We wait for our son or daughter to get serious about life; We wait for the change...the change we just know is coming. We wait, we wait, we wait.
There are times when our waiting can be absolutely excruciating and we can hardly stand to wait another minute. I was in traffic on Minnesota Blvd. the other day, and I was stuck in the middle lane behind this green Subaru wagon, you know, the ones with all the bumper stickers stacked up on the back window - and this guy is going about 20 miles an hour. Every now and then he speeds up to about 30 and then quickly drops back to 20. At one point the guy just stops his car in the middle lane. Boom right there by Carrs supermarket. I look in my rearview mirror and I have cars stacked up in my lane behind me and the lanes on each side of me are full of vehicles all the way to Canada. I try to merge left. I try to merge right. I’m stuck. I just had to wait, and as it turns out, the guy in front of me was just talking on the phone!
But, there are also times when we wait, and time just seems to slip away, it escapes us, and we wonder, “How did things end so fast?” A couple of years ago we went back for what would be our last Thanksgiving with my father. The truth is, we knew that he was going to die, we didn’t know when, but we knew it was soon. I don’t know if I would have called it waiting at the time….but, that was sure a time when I was more than willing to wait a little longer.
Sometimes, waiting isn’t such a bad thing.
Sometimes, waiting is a gift from God.
We wait on God. God makes us wait.
We see the world racing by us.
God sees this as essential to our spiritual life.
This morning in our Scripture the disciples are told to go and wait. We see in verse 4 & 5 that Jesus tells his disciples to wait for the gift that the Father has promised; Jesus tells them that they will have to wait for just a few days and then they will receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
What is it with God and all this waiting? Doesn’t it seem that God is always making people wait? Why wait? God is fully in control, why can’t God make things happen now?
Why can’t Jesus snap his fingers and “ta da” - the disciples receive the Holy Spirit?
Why wait? Because waiting is more about Jesus than it is about us.
This morning we start a study on the book of Acts. As many of you know the book of Acts was written by Luke, the same man who wrote the Gospel of Luke. It turns out that the content of the Gospel of Luke takes up exactly the amount of room that would be available on the typical scroll used in the day - In other words the Gospel of Luke ends because there in no more room for Luke to write, Luke literally runs out of room so he stops writing the Gospel of Luke. But, he has more to say and so here in the book of Acts, we see what scholars say is the next scroll Luke sits down to write on. The book of Acts is...part two of the Gospel of Luke.
I say this right up front, not because it is some great biblical trivia, but because it informs us of the purpose of the book of Acts, and this purpose gives us guidance in the practical application to our lives of what we read.
So, if we go back to the beginning of the Gospel of Luke 1:1-4, we read:
“1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. “