Up, Up, but not away!
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘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.’
Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. ~Acts 1:10–14
What would it have been like to see Jesus return to the Father? If I had been there, I would have probably been amazed, standing for quite awhile just staring up at into the sky, just like the disciples.
What did these followers of Jesus feel? Did they feel wonder, fear, uncertainty, elation or all of the above? I think I would have been torn between the temptation to stay and prolong the experience, and the desire to just run and tell everyone about it.
Earlier in Acts Chapter 1, Jesus – potentially anticipating this conflict in their souls gave His friends one simple instruction to follow:
"...go back to Jerusalem, wait and do not leave yet."
What an obedient group they were. After all that they had witnessed over the last few weeks, they were prompted to obey the one they had given their lives to. It wouldn’t be the last time they simply obeyed.
It’s important to teach all the ones that look up to you the importance of being together in life, obey God and the leaders God has put in our lives and how to tell the world about Jesus.
None of Jesus’ friends were alone. No one went off to be by themselves. Together they witnessed Jesus’ ascension, together they obeyed His directions and together they prayed. Who am I together with? Who encourages me in my pursuit of Jesus? We hope you are enjoying your family time you have been given the past few months. We also hope you feel it is safe to be together back at Chapel Hill when your family feels ready to do so.
Some questions for us today...
What was the last thing that God told me to do? Can I remember?
How did I hear Him? Was it something I read in the Bible or an instruction I received through prayer or prophecy? Have I done it?
I ask You to remind me, Lord.
I want to live life to the fullest telling others about Jesus...preparing others for His return. As the angels said:
“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 am sure the disciples are also recalling the words of Jesus spoken to them earlier...
“Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. "And remember that I am always with you until the end of time." ~Matthew 28:20
Notice the key sentence that Jesus says to you right now...right where you are as you are reading this. He wants us to do life together, He desires obedience, He wants us to tell others the Good News but He wants to speak into your ear that He is with you until the end of time. Spiritually with you and guiding you every step of parenting life.
Jesus, Help me to be the parent who doesn’t do life alone. Help me to find those that You want me to do life with. I am sorry for the times I have not obeyed You. I hear the challenge to give myself fully to obedience and to constantly seeking You in every situation. Holy Spirit, I welcome You, and I commit myself to following Your direction today. Show me the people you have placed in our families lives that need to know you, Jesus.
It’s in your name I pray.