Should I Stay or Should I Go
Jesus said to them, “Stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” – Luke 24:49 (NRSV)
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke conclude in quite different ways. In Matthew, the disciples are told, “Go and make disciples.” “Go.” In Luke, they are told to “Stay,” sit tight, wait in Jerusalem, stay put until you are clothed with power from on high. I don’t imagine that the band, The Clash, had the New Testament in mind when they sang, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” but they could have.
Generally, I am more of a Matthew type than a Luke type. I prefer to go, to get on with it, to move, to do and to act. But there is a time for waiting. Waiting until the time is right. Waiting until some gift of power and grace, not our own, comes upon us to make it possible for us to do what cannot be done in our own strength alone.
“Stay,” said Luke. “Wait.” But it’s not just waiting. It’s waiting for the Spirit, for a power not our own to come upon us, to clothe us. There are things that need doing in this world that are beyond our ability to accomplish solely by our own effort. God’s word, God’s incursion, God’s Spirit are required. “Stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Veni Sancte Spiritus, come Holy Spirit, come. Teach me to wait and to pray. To wait for you, to call upon you, to be clothed by your power from on high. Amen.