Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Acts 1: 1-14
Text: (The disciples asked Him) “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom of Israel?” Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (vss. 6-8)
I recently completed a four mile “race”. I put “race” in quotation marks because I am far from competitive. For me, it is not a “race” but an act of self-discipline.
I participate in this event nearly every year and I tell people that last 5,280 feet are a real challenge! The only way that I can get to the end is to constantly tell myself not to quit and simply take one more step.
I believe that that is what a life of discipleship is like: taking one more step, going one more day. The disciples asked the Risen Lord if He was about to restore Israel’s kingdom. They didn’t yet understand that the restoration of Israel’s kingdom was not on God’s agenda. Rather, God was going to do a new thing; you know, a new wine and new wineskins sort of thing.
Jesus answered their question saying that we don’t need to know what God is doing next. But, and this was a very big “but”, strength will be given as it is needed. In John’s gospel Jesus said that followers of Jesus would be given a “helper”, the Holy Spirit.
What was for the disciples to know, though, and for us to know, is that we are called to tell others of God’s saving love, and how our lives are different because we take Jesus seriously. We are to be constant witnesses in word and deed until we cross the finish line from this Reality into the Next.
Lord, give me the strength that I need to face the challenges of today. Use me as You will to do Your work. Amen.