Pentecost Perks

Jonathan Brownson

READ : Acts 1:6-11

They asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (v. 6)

Whenever a new administration takes over in Washington, the first thing they do is
decide who gets what. During the early days there are a host of “appointments” to be made.
People who campaign for a president expect perks. I wonder if this is the kind of system
Jesus’ disciples are anticipating. At what time will I get my “cabinet level job”? On what
date can I expect my payoff for privileged position?

Today we celebrate Pentecost. On Pentecost, the disciples don’t get perks from a
president. They get power from the Spirit. When Jesus ascends he steps out of time and
space and into a whole different realm of experience. It is not “politics as usual.”

Jesus doesn’t ascend to a presidency, he ascends for eternity. In our political system
we give limited authority for a limited time. In God’s economy the Father dispenses
ultimate authority for all time. The ascended Christ through the Spirit can do what he
wants, whenever and wherever he wants.

The disciples expect privileges; they experience persecution. They discover that Jesus
doesn’t owe them, he owns them. So, instead of demanding perks, maybe we need to start
praying for the Spirit’s power . . . even, and especially, in the face of hard times.


Lord, do what you want when you want in me this Pentecost.