A Call To Prepare

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

(Acts 1:7b-8)

When?

That’s been the predominant question throughout the past year. When? When can we stop wearing masks? When can we resume certain preferred activities? When will things go back to normal? When …?

As I watch national leaders struggle with this question themselves, the truth of the matter is there is no exact timetable. It all falls upon people’s own levels of individual comfort and overall sense of safety. So, there is no precise answer to when. And that’s frustrating.

In that exchange among Jesus and his followers, they wanted to know if the time was now that he would finally give them what they wanted. When?

And Jesus didn’t answer that question.

Instead, he gave them a task. He reminded them of their role in God’s work.

As a student at Campbell Divinity, I remember my Old Testament and Hebrew professor, Dr. Barry Jones, saying to the students, “A call to ministry is a call to prepare.” I’ve never forgotten that, because anything that is worthwhile takes preparation. It requires intentional focus on a desired goal or outcome. These things don’t just happen. It takes diligence and effort.

This is a time of preparation. A call to a deeper measure of ministry. A call to a deeper level of faith. A call to commitment beyond just routines and traditions. A call to be those witnesses to the very ends of the earth.

So, we could whine. We could moan. We could fuss and fight and argue about “when,” but our Savior’s response would be much the same now as it was then. It’s not for us to know the time or dates, but to remember our purpose. Remember that we are those God has called to be those witnesses, to share the love of Christ in whatever circumstances surround us. Remember that we have this power imbued by the presence of God’s own Spirit. Focus that energy and effort, not on our desire for answers, but on God’s purpose.

We might not find the answers we were looking for, but we’ll surely find the ones we need.

— Trent Sessoms
Senior Pastor

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