Wednesday, May 23, 2012–According to the Christian calendar, we are between Ascension Day, when Jesus “ascended” into heaven and told his followers to wait for the Holy Spirit to come, and the Day of Pentecost, when the Spirit arrived in fiery power and “speaking ability.” Until then, according to Luke’s gospel, they were in the Temple, “continually blessing God.”
Luke tells a slightly different story in Acts, for though he says they returned to Jerusalem and joined the men and women in the upper room there who “were constantly devoting themselves to prayer,” they also did some business–they elected a replacement for Judas. Taking care of business is another time-honored way of filling the waiting time.
Bruce’s family has been keeping company with his father as he nears the end of his long, full life. He doesn’t eat much these days and has lost a lot of weight. I have this image of there being nothing left in the bed some morning, just his clothes. Still, this time of waiting has been rich and precious, despite the sometimes awkward conversations about bodily functions and “what if’s.” It has been filled both with prayer and blessing God, as well as some business. We await something that we both dread and yet see as a fulfillment, a completion.
My daughter Meredith has been training since February for her first marathon, which takes place this Sunday morning in Burlington. She has worked hard, learned much, shared the experience and learnings in a wonderful blog (16to26.blogspot.com), and now is trying to get through the week without driving herself crazy with anticipation. Just a little more waiting.
I remember thinking I would be pregnant forever as the end of my pregnancies drew near. It seemed as though I would burst open before these babies were ready to be born, but, of course, in the fullness of time, each one was finally ready, my body began the process it was designed to go through, and two beautiful babies were each born “in the fullness of time.”
“The fullness of time” – kairos – as the Greek calls it–different from chronos or “clock time.” Kairos is God’s time, not to be hurried or even measured by us, only trusted in. “Continually blessing God” is probably the most appropriate way to live in kairos.
So we bless God, the Giver and Creator of Life, as we wait for the fullness of time in Russ’ life, as we celebrate and cheer Meredith on, as we open ourselves up to the fiery, windy, empowering, birthing, comforting Holy Spirit to come on whatever Pentecost Day God chooses. Thanks be to God!