There was a brief moment in time, between the earthly ministry of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, when every angel in heaven must have held its breath. Jesus suddenly stood among his disciples, in yet another Easter appearance, to give them instruction, and a commission, and a promise. And then he led them out to Bethany, were he blessed them and withdrew from them, being “carried up to heaven.”
How would the disciples respond? Jesus’ promise to them came with an instruction: “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Would they be able to bide the time? Would they long for their former lives in Galilee? Would they spend so much time looking for signs that they neglected their more basic needs, and the needs of others?
Luke tells us they believed—as Simeon and Anna did in Jerusalem long before—that God was on the move, and something marvelous was about to happen. And so they went to the city in great joy, worshipped God, and waited for the promised gift with anticipation. The angels can exhale, for disciples are on board, and the newborn church will be filled with power forevermore.