“Another Interim” • Devotion by MVLC Church Council Vice-president Bob Linden
After his suffering [Jesus] presented himself alive to [the apostles] by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he 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.”
Some of the toughest times in life are the “interim” times. People in business who have been appointed to temporary management positions have discovered it is very difficult to function in that capacity. Most of us find that these kinds of times in our lives—times when we’re waiting for things to transition back to “normal”—can be difficult to get through.
Jesus’s disciples were faced with one of these periods between the time when Jesus rose from the dead and when the Holy Spirit came to them fifty days later on Pentecost. This was probably a trying and puzzling time for Jesus’s followers. They experienced Jesus’s ascension into heaven, which certainly would have been a faith-strengthening event, but still they had to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit’s arrival.
Waiting in Jerusalem may have been something they wanted to avoid altogether. After all, the intense spectacle of the crucifixion was still fresh on everyone’s mind, and—not wanting to suffer a similar fate—blending into the countryside would have been nice.
Like the first disciples, we live in an in-between period, too—the time between our Lord’s initial coming to earth and the time when He will come again. In a sense, this is a difficult period for us as well. But just as our Lord told His disciples what they were to do in the meantime, so He has instructed us on how we are to live in our interim existence.
We are to devote ourselves to prayer and the study of His Word (see Acts 6:4), and we are to be His witnesses in the world (see Acts 1:8). If we live now according to His will, then our lives will be meaningful to us and will be lived to His glory.
For us in the present age who live between our Lord’s first arrival and is future return, waiting for His second coming is not to be a time of passive inactivity. Rather, it is to be a time of doing His will and spreading the Good News of Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Heavenly Father, as we wait for the coming of Your kingdom, make us good stewards of time and the message of life You have entrusted to us. Gracious God, we celebrate our common calling to serve Christ and celebrate the call of our interim pastors to churches where you are leading them.
We give You thanks that You have called Pastor Mike and Pastor Kim to this special ministry at Mt. View Lutheran Church.
May Your grace and love be with these servants and this congregation that they serve. May all that they do be for the glory of You and for the continuing of Your kingdom among us.
May they find strength as they continue to minister with patience, love, wisdom and joy. Guide us in ways that, as a Community of Christ, we support them in their special work.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Image: “Pentecost,” photograph of a stained glass window from St Aloysius’s church in Somers Town, London, by Fr Lawrence Lew, www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/3580235485 [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0)].