“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers and sisters.” Acts 1:14
I’m always amazed at how crisis brings people together. During pressing, traumatic times watch how folks huddle and find strength and solace in one another. Many Christian churches found themselves at capacity following the events of September 11, 2001. It was a time to pray. It was a time to draw near to one another. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be together in times such as these. It’s natural. It’s normal.
In Acts 1 we find a confused and conflicted tribe of Jesus-followers trying to process a series of events that any person worth their salt would have struggled through. Jesus’ arrest, trial, beating, crucifixion and untimely death were shocking, to say the least. Now, in this chapter of Scripture we find them working through the implications of a reported resurrection.
What does all this mean?
Was it now possible that Jesus would restore the Kingdom of Israel (vs. 6)?
In times of dismay and trama, one is prone to ask a lots of questions.
Added to the resurrection is the befuddling ascension.This certainly came as a surprise. Just when the disciples thought things were looking up, they literally had to “look up” (vs. 11) in order to watch Jesus disappear into the clouds. Undoubtedly, this had to be confusing and a primary reason why the small band of believers returned to Jerusalem. They had to regroup and seek the Lord for clarity, and also deal with internal issues such as the choosing of a replacement for Judas.
So often in reading the opening chapters of Acts we picture our “Upper Room Prayer Team” as powerful warriors optimistically pumping their fist, crying out for power from on high. Our Pentecostal leanings what to portray them as confident and expecting.
However, we must remember the fear, confusion and trauma that they had experienced of late. These were trying times and their best reaction was to huddle up, handle some important details, pray and wait. It was then that “suddenly” the Spirit of God came upon them like a rushing wind and tongues of fire.
Is it possible that these are the classic times and scenarios when God’s Spirit shows up “suddenly?” Isn’t God’s strength made perfect in our…wait for it…weakness?
How do you react to traumatic times?