While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Acts 1:4-6, NRSV
One of the things I treasured as a child was taking out-of-town car trips. I loved getting on the road and seeing all the sights across the land. My mother would let me know where we were going, but being a child, I had no sense of how long it would take to get there. So what was my usual refrain? “Are we there yet?”
Can anybody relate? That’s a question for us today, too. We’ve been on lockdown for fifteen months now. Masked, distanced, without seeing smiles or sharing hugs. And I don’t know about you, but every month I would wonder: are we there yet? Is this the month that things will get better?
Perhaps you’ve asked that question without even knowing it – is this the day that my healing comes? Is this the day that my marriage gets better? Is this the day that my child will call? Are we there yet?
Jesus dealt with this issue when the disciples asked if this was the time when He would restore the kingdom to Israel? Lord, is this the time when you tear down Roman rule - smite them all and restore the kingdom to Israel? Are we there yet?
And Jesus responds, as my mother used to do, with, “Don’t worry about that. But when you get there, it will be great!”
7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 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.”
Acts 1:7-8, NRSV
In other words, you’re thinking about the wrong thing. Don’t concern yourself with when you will get there, but what you will do once the time has come.
Our COVID restrictions are beginning to loosen, businesses are starting to open, the churches are opening their doors again. Have we been so concerned with the when, that now we are not prepared to do the what? So, what is the what? And how will we know when we’re there?
Join me this Sunday for worship and let’s talk about it! This is part of our Family Conversations series: Are we There Yet? Overflow Worship Reservations are available at https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4. You can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
As our reopening team assesses what the new CDC recommendations mean for us, we are asking that you continue to mask on this Sunday. Are we there yet? Well…we’re getting pretty close! To God be the Glory!