2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Jokes have been made based on this verse that God loves Honda's because all His followers were in one Accord. Apparently the Accord didn't work very well because they were stuck in one place... (groan)
And now that we have that out of the way...
We left off yesterday with the emotionally charged task of replacing Judas. It seems that the task as well as the other difficult events and failures that have brought them to this moment were understandably divisive. Nothing causes tension like difficulty and they gave certainly had their share. That is precisely what makes this short verse that opens chapter two so remarkable. In the ten days between Jesus' sudden departure and the day of Pentecost they have been gathering in this upper room in Jerusalem and by what can only be described as a miracle they have become one.
How did it happen? How did a group of 120 people lead by 11 men over 3 plus years become one when we consider their favourite topic was arguing over who would be the greatest? So common was the discussion about it, that James' and John's mother got involved one day. Think of the influence those discussions would have had on the group dynamics. Think of the impact of Judas' actions on the group. Think of the impact of proud and boastful Peter's loud denials of Jesus complete with the cursing of a sailor.
When Jesus instructed them to go to Jerusalem together and wait together for the promise of His Spirit you can be certain there were some who did not want to be in the same room together. We find out from the end of Luke's gospel that Jesus spent a good portion of the first day He was resurrected tracking two of His followers to Emmaus because they had given up and left the group and we're heading home.
We all know that tough times put tension on the best of relationships. That this group came to be of one accord in one place is nothing short of miraculous.
When times get tough our natural response is to withdraw, or to look for someone to blame, or to avoid certain people we see as a source of our pain. We withdraw because of guilt. We seek to blame in an attempt to make sense of the often senseless. We avoid people because they remind us of the pain we're trying to suppress. You can be sure that many if not all of the followers of Jesus wanted to quit. It was never supposed to be this hard. It was never supposed to go like this. Yet when Jesus told them to come together and stay together they did.
Was it easy? Probably not. Awkward? Probably. Tense? Likely. Would some or many or all of them have preferred to be somewhere else? Possibly. Regardless they came. They stayed. They prayed. They talked. They began to heal...
I'll never forget the sermon of a Baptist preacher in a small town in Prince Edward Island. He said a relationship is not over when a couple is arguing. It's over when they stop talking altogether.
If you have a relationship or two that is tense and involves avoidance or awkward silence it's not time to withdraw. It's time to press together. Talk. Pray. Most of all occupy the same space until the Promise comes. Healing is always a miracle but sometimes we can position ourselves to make miracles possible. Most of all be where Jesus tells you to be and wait...