A waiting church

David A., our speaker last Sunday,  looked at various aspects of the first church, as outlined for us in the book of Acts chapters 1 and 2. We read in Acts 1:1-5 that the early church was a waiting church.

Jesus had commanded them to wait in Jerusalem for provision from God the Father. Jesus had already told them that they would soon be receiving the Holy Spirit. We can now look back and see that he meant the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the young Christian church. We now know that this happened on the day of Pentecost when 3000 people were added to the church on one day.

After all of the exciting events leading up to this time the disciples must have been anxious about all this waiting. They had to wait for 40 days. They had experienced with Jesus the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the observance of the Passover – the Last Supper, the prayer in the Garden, the sudden arrest of Jesus followed by a sham trial and finally his shameful crucifixion. Add to this the confusion and utter dismay when they saw, not once, but on many occasions, Jesus alive and in their midst. And now he was asking them to wait.

Waiting times are not wasted times. On many occasions in scripture we read of people waiting on God.

Those who wait on the LORD
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Our church is a waiting church. Tomorrow marks David’s last Sunday with us as an interim pastor. Many will be sorry to see him and his wife leave us. They are going to a new ministry in another church. In the meantime, our church is again left waiting on God. We have been going through a season of prayer for several months now, seeking God’s leading  regarding future ministry here.

Some of our folk are concerned that not much appears on the surface to be happening. This is quite understandable; we all like to see progress and to get on with God’s business here in this community. On the other hand, the eldership, along with most of the congregation, is seeking to wait on God’s leading and provision. Just as the early disciples had to wait patiently for the provision of the Holy Spirit, so must we wait on God to provide for us in the future. We have been praying, and are confident, that God is steadily working in background, preparing the right person to come here to work with us to shepherd the flock, and to reach out to the hurting, confused, and needy people of Murray Bridge.

And while we are waiting, we will keep praying.

˄TH based on a sermon by ˄DA.