Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Acts 1:6-11 (NIV)
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
I wonder what I would have looked like standing slack-jawed watching Jesus disappear into the sky. The disciples have just gone through an incredible ordeal. Just a few weeks before Jesus had been murdered on a cross! Then, shockingly, he rose from the dead and started showing up in locked rooms and eating meals with them. Finally, after a few weeks of spending time together, Jesus ascends into heaven! No wonder they were just standing there stunned. But then some angels say: “Hey! What are you guys looking at? Why are you just standing around? Go get busy with the work Jesus gave you!” Sometimes I feel like we live this way, too. We read our daily devotions or go to worship and then say, “What now?” Well, go! Cling to the forgiveness and love of Jesus each day and seek to give that same forgiveness and love to others each day. It is often challenging work and we will not be perfect, but don’t worry about being perfect, just go, forgive, and love and remember that Jesus is working in and through you to build his kingdom!