Words from the Heart for Thursday May 25th, 2017
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.”
Acts 1:10-11 (NIV)
Looking Intently Up
After Jesus rose again He spent forty days sharing with His followers. He prepared them for leadership. He instructed them to wait for the power of the Spirit. When He left the angel gave the promise: “He will return.”
Saskatchewan is known as “Land of the Living Skies” for very good reason. Even without including the Northern Lights that dance across the Saskatchewan cold Fall night skies, prairie provinces skies often glow in hues of blue, purple, green and yellow. On August 19, 2015, World Photography Day, CBC Saskatchewan asked listeners and viewers to provide living skies photos from across the province and there was no shortage. They showed aurora borealis at night, and stunning clear blue skies during the day. Some of the most beautiful included the sun shining through evening clouds as it set late into the prairie summer evening. The website where these photos have been posted is a beautiful example of what can be captured when people take time to stop and gaze at the beautiful Saskatchewan sky.
I often wonder what it was like for the disciples on the day that Jesus ascended into heaven. We spend a lot of time focusing on His arrival, as the whole world celebrates Christmas. Jesus death and resurrection gets a long weekend, with church services held on Thursday evening, Friday and Sunday. Some churches even have a Saturday service that weekend. But we don’t spend much time focusing on His ascension. Today is Ascension Day, and Acts 1:10-11 tells us “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.” What a great promise. The return of Jesus Christ, in the same way that He left, is yet to happen. But because He left as He did, the Holy Spirit was able to come in His power and He remains with us to this day. And the promise of Jesus’ return is as certain as it was when the angels spoke to these Galileans. And what they said to them they say to us. Let’s keep on serving God. Let’s keep on touching our world with His love and grace. God has work for us to do. Let’s be found faithful at His return.
These have been words from the heart.