Waiting in Jerusalem

While staying with them, he (Jesus) ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me, for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”….But 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.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. Acts 1:4-5, 8-9

Waiting involves uncertainty. And since we serve the God of the universe, even the sky is not the limit when it comes to what the future may bring. Who knows what a life surrendered to God’s timing might mean? Waiting takes time, and we’re afraid to waste time. But if we model our lives after Jesus, time is not something to use or waste but a gift to experience. Kelly Lyn Logue

The disciples with Mary, Jesus’ mother, and other women spent time in prayer and discernment following the ascension of Jesus. They did what Jesus told them to do: Wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit! Wait for the power to witness for me in the world.

Holy Spirit, come, confirm us
in the truth that Christ makes known;
we have faith and understanding
through your helping gifts alone.

Holy Spirit, come, renew us,
come yourself to make us live;
holy through your loving presence,
holy through the gifts you give. Brian Foley

The nice thing about waiting is that it is good for the soul. “We love to expect,” Samuel Johnson wrote, “and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.” Expectation is the great spiritual snare of life. It tells us always that there is more to life than we now know. It leads directly to God. Joan Chittister

O Spirit of the Living God,
thou light and fire divine,
descend upon thy church once more,
and make it truly thine!
Fill it with love and joy and power,
with righteousness and peace,
till Christ shall dwell inhuman hearts
and sin and sorrow cease. Henry H. Tweedy

The capacity to wait is the ability to endure, to grow, to enjoy and to hope. Learning to wait well is one of the secret gifts of the soul. It gives growing time in the dark. Waiting is not a passive thing. It takes character and commitment. Joan Chittister

Note: These reflections are for use during the week of May 24- May 30 and are based on the scriptures for worship on May 24.

Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence


Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.

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