Reflecting on Acts 1:1-11
Remain in me. How many times have we heard Jesus tell us this throughout this Easter season? Remain in me as I remain in you.
And now, like tender branches clinging to the vine, the eyewitnesses are instructed to remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit comes upon them.
How they must have longed to say to Jesus, “No! Take us with you. Don’t leave us. We are powerless and terrified without you.”
But Jesus knew what they didn’t. The Advocate, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit was about to come, like a mighty wind, and change their hearts and all history.
I love thinking about the people in that upper room who remained in prayer for those nine days from Ascension Thursday until Pentecost. We know from Acts 1: 12-14 that the eleven apostles were there, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his “brothers”.
Wow. That’s quite a minyan (a Jewish prayer group). Think of the things they had seen with their own eyes, including the resurrected Christ. I’ll bet a huge part of their time together was in telling each other the stories, over and over again. And I’ll bet that Mary had the best stories of all.
Like a mighty wind the Spirit came, and clothed them in so much power that they went out into the four corners of the Roman world, preaching a Jewish Savior. With Paul and Barnabas and Silas and Lydia and Phoebe and Chloe and hundreds of other disciples (see Romans 16 for a few) they built the church in every settled and unsettled province of the world.
Remain in me, says Jesus. Even today. Especially today.
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).