Slightly warmer weather, some sunshine, and the twittering of tiny beaks. One week after Easter and the British are donning their gauntlets and sharpening the mowers. Gardening has started.
Seeing the daffodils out in full splendour is the cue for the Next Big Step of the year. Garden Centres and plant nurseries.
Ornamental cherries are glowing with Nesquik pink. Some early apples and nectarine trees are showing blossom. This flatters to deceive… those trees have been in warm glasshouses for the winter, and anyone planting them out now will be disappointed when the flowers drop and no fruit sets. It’s still too early in the year. Patience is required, and if planted at the right time, success will follow.
It struck me that this parallels the experience of the early followers of Jesus. Witnesses to the Resurrection, there are signs of hope and confidence- yet still Jesus waits with them. Appearing to different individuals and groups, sharing food with some, and the word begins to circulate. Jesus is back. What happens next? WAITING.
There is so much waiting in the Bible! I like to jump in and get the ball rolling. Jesus takes his time, and waits for the RIGHT time. I wonder who knows best?
Acts 1:3-4 (NLT) During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before.”
The Promised Gift is the available Presence of Holy Spirit within the Church and the world. Pentecost will mark the giving. Power will fill the believers to be effective and fruitful witnesses.
I love the springtime, the flowers, the colours, the warmth. They promise much. Later comes the season of summer growth, then the cascade of flowers that set seed for the future and bring fruit to the world. The apple blossom in the garden centre promises luscious fruit: the tangy juiciness, the crisp crunchiness of a perfect English apple. Fruit can’t be rushed. There is waiting to be done before the feasting can begin.
How will we use these waiting days?
Feed your soul with the certainty of the Resurrection. Jesus spent 40 days teaching about the Kingdom- he appeared several times, and they became more sure that this was True truth.
Seek the Lord– pray for the promises to be unfolded again, so that Pentecost this year will remind us of the Power and Presence of Jesus Christ, so that we will be effective witnesses and bold believers. Our lives can be fruitful as our characters become transformed- more like Jesus- and we display the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT): “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Learning to wait is an important skill for a Christian to learn. God unfolds His promises at just the right time. Be patient- but not passive. Be passionate about the Kingdom and its King.