Jesus left unfinished work. The restoration and realignment of all creation to God remained incomplete when Jesus’ life on earth ended. Before his death, in his final teaching to the disciples on the fateful night of his arrest, Jesus concedes what must have been difficult for his friends to hear, perhaps difficult also for him to articulate: “There is still much more for me to say, still much more for me to teach, but I cannot say what needs saying and you cannot hear what needs hearing. My time with you is ending, even though our work is not done.”
Why couldn’t Jesus say everything he wanted to say? Was there not enough time? Were the disciples unprepared to listen? Were they not mature enough in faith? Was the moment too full of all that had already been said, too full of bread and wine and the poignancy of Jesus washing their feet, so that just one more word would have been too much to hold in their hearts? Yes, for these reasons and more, Jesus did not say everything. In the final days of his ministry, Jesus left an ellipsis . . .
. . . and he promised that the Spirit would pick up the unfinished words and whisper them into ears that were ready to hear. The Spirit would continue the incomplete work by empowering Jesus’ followers. The Spirit would ignite generations of disciples with dreams of what was still to come in God’s healing and glory. Jesus left an ellipsis . . . because the work needed to continue by the Spirit.
Had Jesus stayed, had he said every word and taught everything and healed everyone, there would be no work to continue. There would be no reason for the disciples, and now for us, to be light and yeast and salt to the world. There would be no reason for the Spirit to draw us into God’s work of realignment.

I have unfinished work, Jesus. When I am impatient, remind me that the Spirit is faithful in continuing the work and the dreams that are still to come. Amen.


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