Scripture: Acts 1:1-14
Key verses: (6-8) So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But 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.”
Reflection: This time in the church year is full of transition, if you are following what we call the liturgical calendar. We have been in the season of Eastertide—the weeks after Easter, rejoicing in the resurrection of Jesus. Then we had the Sunday of Pentecost, where we remember and give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit, when God gave the first disciples the ability to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. Then just yesterday the church year notes Trinity Sunday, where we traditionally celebrate God’s three-in-oneness: God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Then we move right into a long period we call Ordinary Time, mostly through the summer and fall, pretty much until we get to Advent. It’s like we pack all the celebrations and remembrances here together, then rest for a while — not unlike the crazy days of May which finally give way to long days of summer. Like the first disciples, we want to know the times or periods in which God is at work, so we can put them on our calendars in orderly fashion. Jesus tells the disciples to be patient, and to wait for God.
So here in ordinary time, it’s a good time to reflect on how, in your own life, the presence of God makes a difference. How does the good news of Jesus change you? How is God’s Spirit at work in and through you, as Jesus said it would be for the disciples? Where is God present in ordinary time for you? When the high holy days calm down and settle into regular days, what difference does the grace of God make for you? Sometimes we have to listen a little deeper, spend time in quiet a little longer, and attend to our spiritual lives with more intention during transitions and then in ordinary time. May we wait with expectation for God to speak in new ways, yet again.
Prayer: Lord, you are with us in the high holy days, in all our transitions, and in the slowest and most ordinary of days. Help us recognize your presence in all times. Teach us to be your people every day. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].