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Looking Up

“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.” Acts 1:11 NIV

It's no wonder the disciples stood staring transfixed upon the shy. Their friend, Rabbi, and Savior had just ascended. While not gone for good, they didn't know when they'd see him again. So, they looked longingly toward the heavens.

But before he arose, Jesus left them with a promise and a direction, "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.” (v. 8) They had a job to do, to share the gospel to all people, Jew and Gentile alike. So the two men dressed in white–angels–prompted them to get on with their commission. "Don't spend anymore time looking up, your task is before you."

Since that time, the world has grown increasingly more wicked. Humankind has developed more efficient ways to kill greater numbers of people, developed addictive drugs leading to higher levels of overdose deaths, AI technology that reduces our desire to reason and think, and has abused and misused the earth. Like the disciples on that day, we look to the heavens with longing expectations.

But also, like those disciples, we aren't to spend our time looking up with anticipation but preparing for Christ's return. To share the good news of Jesus' salvation to all people. Many today live in despair and hopelessness and have never heard of God's love. And, we must be ready ourselves, with our lamps filled and our wicks trimmed. There's no preparation after the fact!

In preparedness, we have peace. It doesn't matter if Christ comes at this moment or a thousand years from now; we have the Holy Spirit to comfort, encourage, and lead us. Thanks be to God for his grace.

Loving Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to save us from sin and the Holy Spirit to sustain us. May we not stand idly staring into the sky awaiting your return but be busy preparing. Help us be ready and to bring others to know your loving kindness. May our words and actions be lights of your glory in the darkness. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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