In Acts 1: 6, the resurrected Jesus is with the disciples and just told them to hole up in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of God, and they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom?” In verse 7, Jesus’ answered, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”
In Revelation 6, the angels ask God how long before all the cool stuff happens (paraphrased), and in verse 11 God answers by simply handing them white robes and telling them to rest a little longer.
In Matthew 24: 42, Jesus tells the disciples to “stay awake, for you do not know what day the Lord is coming.”
In the same vein, I am asking like many of you: “When do we get to go back to church?!” And I imagine God saying, like a good parent, “Soon.” And like typical children we ask, “Why not NOW?” And he hands us some white robes and tells us to remain in His holy rest a little longer.
This application of God’s nature to our current circumstance reminds us of a few timeless truths. Often, when God is up to something involving us, He already has a timetable. Our hastiness not only shows unbelief, but can also throw a wrench in the gears of how He is going to use us in the right moment!
Whatever it is God has planned for you, and for our church body, is going to benefit TREMENDOUSLY by our keeping pure in the waiting (ever been handed white clothes to put on?) and our familiarity with God’s holy rest. When God says, “NOW!” we are going to need that stored energy from the rest in waiting, and others are going to judge the validity of our testimony by the whiteness of our robes.
Our testimony is that EVERYONE is invited to live in a city, a holy nation, a divine body where peace overcomes anxiety, where love conquers apathy, where goodness scatters evil, and hope eradicates fear. Our call as a church is to bring that message to the world, and we can’t do it with fitful and impatient rest. We can’t do it with dirt still clogging our hearts, minds, ears and mouths.
Let us be of one accord this month in EXPECTATION that we will be able to gather again, but also with PREPARATIVE WAITING for a return to that gathering with GREAT PURPOSE, energy, and purity. Let us not return wishing we had made better use of the time, gnashing our teeth at a missed chance to reinstill God’s strength of presence in our daily lives.
We will be together soon. If there is anything I can do to help you in preparation for a renewed walk with God, please don’t hesitate to call on me. Even moreso, to call straight to God Himself.
Sean King is the Pastor for First Christian Church of Cisco.