And the [Disciples] asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” To this he replied, “You cannot know times and dates which have been fixed by the Father’s sole authority. But you are to be given power when the Holy Spirit has come to you. You will be witnesses to me, not only in Jerusalem, not only throughout Judea, not only in Samaria, but to the very ends of the earth!”
This text, from Acts 1, occurs after the Resurrection. The disciples gather with Jesus, a Jesus who has RISEN FROM THE DEAD. They are sure, very sure, this is the moment Jesus will behave like the Messiah they have awaited for eons. Lord, is now the time? Will you take back the kingdom by force? Is now the time?
To their query Jesus responds, “No one knows when God will do this thing. “But . . . “, and never underestimate the power of the conjunction ‘but’, because ‘but’ always elevates what comes after it as more important, more true than what comes before it. “But”, Jesus says, “Even if God does not take back the kingdom in this moment, or in the way you imagine, YOU will be given power and YOU will be my spokesperson. YOU!!!”
Beloved, that YOU is us. God has not righted every wrong. Evil still seems ascendant. BUT, we have power. We have power to speak truth. We have power to love. We have power to pray. We have power to act. We have power to use. May we, this day, see our world as the stage on which we will be God’s spokespersons, with power. No ifs, ands or buts about it.