I have not posted lately, not because there has been nothing going on, but because there has been so much! And once again I find that there are common themes behind the issues at hand. One of the dominant themes in my mind and heart has been that of anticipation/reception, and I have in mind three issues (at least) that have brought home this theme theologically and personally (as if the two were entirely separable).
My first awareness of the issue of anticipation and reception came during my meditations on Pentecost: our Easter joy is made full as Jesus ascends to his place of power and intercession on our behalf and we wait for the promised power of the Holy Spirit. We wonder with the apostles about the shape of God’s promise and how it might ratify for us the work of Jesus in our redemption and, in turn, fling us into redemptive lives in his name. What will the Holy Spirit we receive empower us to do?
My sense of anticipation was “fleshed out” quite literally in the expectation of our son’s birth. As the due date came and passed, we wondered when and how this wonderful promise would be delivered! As the difficult delivery occurred we were overjoyed at Isaac Andrew Edgerton’s healthy arrival. Wondering about his arrival now shifts to wonder at what he will bring to our lives and we to his. What wonders of God’s grace and power are in store for this little life now begun?
And now the tension of anticipation continues. I have been laid off from my teaching position. What will we do? How will I provide for my new family – scratch that – how will God provide for my new family? How long will the real estate search be delayed (days, weeks, years)? When the Lord’s assured provision comes, what new (or old) work will I be commissioned to do for his Kingdom and glory?
Pentecost was, for the apostles, more a beginning than an ending to their questions about the Lord’s work within them and through them. We modern Christians have the longest season in our year to ponder and to flesh out the call and anointing we have received from Jesus by the power of his Spirit. May we be kept wondrously on the edge of our seats, quick to respond, ready to give praise as we anticipate, receive, and declare “the mighty acts of God in Christ Jesus”.