On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. (Acts 1:4 NIV)
When I am at the supermarket and am about to go to the checkout counter, I usually look for the counter for the shortest line-up or no line-up. I do this instinctively, without even thinking about it. I do not like waiting. I am a product of the consumer culture. There is a value in my life to get served within the shortest amount of time.
This is why it is difficult sometimes to practise God’s instructions for us to wait on him as he does his work around us (Psalm 37:7). We want answers today and not tomorrow.
In Acts 1:4, the resurrected Jesus tells his followers to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Father, which is the Holy Spirit. Do the followers of Jesus just sit in their rooms just waiting? No, they do not. They do 2 things. First, they pray. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14 NIV) Second, they chose Judas’ successor (Acts 1:15-26). They make sure that there is a 12th apostle. Just as there were 12 tribes in Israel, I believe that there needs to be 12 apostles to make the full complement of God’s servants. In other words, they do the things necessary to get ready for God to do his work while they wait on him.
As a result, the promise of the Father arrives in Acts 2. The promise of the Father is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is poured out on Jesus’ followers on the Day of Pentecost. They speak in tongues. Peter proclaims the gospel. 3000 people are added to their number.
This Sunday (March 4) we will have our Annual Meeting. Like the followers of Jesus in Acts 1, we live in uncertain times. I also believe God wants us to wait on him just as Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. What do we do as we wait on God? We follow the example of the followers of Jesus. We pray. We do all things necessary to get ready for God. We have our Annual Meeting. In preparation, we read the Annual Report and celebrate God’s goodness to us in 2017. At the Annual Meeting, we discuss the situation and seek God’s will together for 2018. We encourage one another in ministry including the servant leaders among us. May God equip us.