Waiting with Purpose

Acts 1.1-5

I’ve never heard anyone say, "Oh goodie, we get to wait in line at
Wal-Mart!" or "Oh look, there’s road construction signs ahead. I wonder
if we’ll get to wait!"
Waiting is probably one of our least favorite things to do. It’s a
waste of time. We want to be doing something. We want to at least make
it look like we are making something happen.
We would rather travel 20 miles out of our way, than wait 20 minutes in
a line of traffic. At least we would be doing something.

But Jesus tells the disciples to wait.
I wonder if after Jesus appeared to them many times and he convincingly
proved that he was alive, if they were excited to tell others he was
alive? But Jesus said wait. Don’t go yet. Don’t leave yet.

Acts 2 talks of the Spirit coming into the “whole house where they were
sitting.” I’ve always imagined the disciples still hid away, in a room
together. Still fearful. Still avoiding the people of Jerusalem. Maybe
even gathered in the room where they had shared the Last Supper with
Jesus.
However, "house" was a common term for the temple. It could have been a
room in the temple area.

The Feast of Pentecost was an Old Testament Jewish worship gathering.
Disciples did not neglect worship in the temple following Jesus’ death.
Jesus continued to worship in the temple, there was no reason to
believe the disciples did not. The epistles reveal house churches where
Christians worshiped and studied together about the things of Christ
and the Holy Spirit, but this does not mean they did not meet to
worship in the temples. We do not know when they discontinued this
practiced.

John Wesley did not break off from the church to form the UMC. He was a
part of the Church of England and wished to remain a part of the Church
of England. He wished to bring renewal to the Church. Members of the
Holy Clubs at Oxford fasted until 3:00 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays,
received holy communion once each week, studied and discussed the Greek
New Testament and the classics each evening in a member’s room, and the
next year visited prisoners and the sick, they systematically brought
their lives under strict review.

These meetings continued as Methodist Societies and they continued to
study the Scriptures and review one another’s walk, holding one another
accountable. Those involved with these societies were to meet with the
societies during the week and then worship at the Church of England on
Sundays.

Today we worship on Sunday. Do you know why the Seventh Day Adventists
are called what they are? When do they worship? Saturday.
What is the Jewish Sabbath? Saturday.
The early church continued to worship in the temple on Saturday,
gathering together in their house churches as follower of Christ, the
next day, on Sunday.
Another reason, I now believe the disciples were not hid away in a
private room somewhere is that when the Holy Spirit descended upon them
and they began to speak in other languages. There were people there to
hear them speaking.

Acts 2.5-13

Waiting
When I think of waiting I think of doing nothing, like sitting in a
line of traffic. Although, I prepare ahead for times like those any
more. I have teaching tapes, book on tape, praise & worship tapes.
I can pray.
I believe that the disciples waited in a similar fashion. I cannot
believe that in their excitement of everything that happened, all that
they had seen and witnessed, that they were not awestruck at God’s
activity and continually worshiped.

After all, Acts 2 goes on to say that after the coming of the Holy
Spirit, "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple
courts."

Acts 16.6-10

"… those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Romans 8.14).

Go forth waiting and being led by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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