Look for God Beyond the Borders

woman standing on a cliff in the wind
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/squeakywheel/2255524253/">squacco</a>

Acts 1:6-8

When his disciples reassembled, they asked Jesus, “Master, are you going to restore Israel’s independence now?”

“First, God only knows when that will happen, and you’re not in on that decision,” Jesus said. “But when you get God’s spirit you’ll have the power to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and everywhere.”

Even after the resurrection, the disciples haven’t figured out that this whole Jesus thing isn’t about Israeli independence. Jesus’ response, “Only God knows… and you’re not in on that” is as much as to say, “forget about it.”

Instead Jesus tells them when they do realize where God’s spirit is taking this, it will lead them from where they are (just outside Jerusalem), beyond their own national borders (Judea) into a worldwide phenomenon (everywhere).

Against our tendency to reduce God’s activity to our own private bubble of concerns and issues, Jesus was always pushing us – and is still pushing – to realize that it’s not about us. At least, not just about us. If the spirit of God is really upon us, our circle of concern (and involvement) will always be widening.

[Bonus: This passage, if you’re looking for one, is the reason why Christian nationalism (doesn’t matter what nation) is bunk.]