Christmas Devotionals – 12/15

By Kristy Low
Acts 1:4-12

“… he [Jesus] ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father…”

Imagine yourself in this scene for just a moment. Being reunited with the resurrected Immanuel, God with us, after having watched him suffer and die on the cross. Having mourned what you would have thought to be the loss of the One promised to save. Having then rejoiced in His glorious return – once again being able to sit at His feet, to touch His hands, to hear His voice. I imagine that if I were there, I would have hung onto every word that He spoke, never wanting to let Him out my sight again.
 
I wonder if I would have understood when He spoke of the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Probably not. I’m sure I would have urged Him with the others to restore the kingdom at that time, hoping that the time was now. I’m sure I would have been baffled by His response, a response that beckoned His followers to once again wait. A response that pointed to the sovereignty and authority of the Father, the promise of a powerful Helper and then the mandate to those who loved Him to be His witnesses throughout the ends of the earth. I imagine that I would have then stood in disbelief, mouth agape, as He was then lifted up, a cloud taking Him out of my sight again. I wonder if I would have been able to fight back the sense of panic? It’s no wonder that in the verses to follow the disciples are said to have gathered in one accord, devoting themselves to prayer. Crying out to the God they loved.
 
I wonder if peace would have settled as I prayed and waited as instructed, remembering that Jesus had spoken of what must happen before. In John 16, Jesus said “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)
 
I’m sure that they had no idea the life-altering gravity of the gift that was to come. That the same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead would come to reside within all who believed. That God would soon initiate the most personal way He would speak to those He loved, how He still speaks to us today – directly through the indwelling, intimate, incredible gift of His Spirit working hand in hand with the timeless, holy Word of God. Be encouraged by the beautiful reality of the One who empowers, equips, transforms and send us out!