From Pauses for Pentecost
When the apostles arrive, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying.
The upper room plays an important role in Jesus’s preparation for Pentecost. Almost immediately after his ascension, when the disciples return to Jerusalem, they go to the upper room. It offers them the necessary space where the disciples can pray and wait for the promise Jesus has given them: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you,” (Acts 1:8). Certainly, we know it also has a special place in their memory because it is the place where Jesus met with them in significant and special ways. Now, as they wait along with the women Christ followers, they want to encounter him anew in the power of his Spirit.
As Pentecost draws nearer, this should be our desire too. As we have seen over and over again in our Eastertide journey so far, the Holy Spirit is the giver of sparkling life that bubbles up within us like an inexhaustible and powerful spring. The Spirit refreshes and renews us for joyful obedience in God’s world. Many of us, especially when we constantly are involved in giving to others, find ourselves dried up and exhausted inside. We feel we don’t have much more to give. We long for a fresh experience of God’s Spirit to give life to our hearts and our bodies. Only then will we be able to truly live as Spirit-empowered Easter people in our broken Good Friday world.
Maybe we too need an upper room where we can wait and pray in preparation for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit. You might remember Jesus once told his disciples that when they pray, they need to go into a room, close the door, and speak to their Father in secret. (See Matthew 6:6.) As we move toward Pentecost, I invite you to do this quite literally. It could cause this Pentecost to be vastly different from all the others. Indeed, it may be the day when the spring of the Spirit turns your life into a deep reservoir from which life-giving streams begin to flow toward others around you.
Today, find a few minutes to go into your room, close the door, and ask the Father to prepare your heart to receive a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit.