Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Ascension of the Lord

... as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." Then they returned to Jerusalem...
Acts 1:9-12
Did you ever think about that scene? Jesus - who was dead (He had definitely been dead, they were sure of that) had come back to them. It had taken a little while just to get their minds wrapped around that. But he's dead - no, he's not - he's here. So he was back. Okay - get comfortable with the thought, start thinking long term - what will we do next and all that. Then they go out on a mountain top with him and the next thing you know Jesus is being lifted up into heaven.

And angels have the nerve to ask why they are staring up at the sky. Of course they are staring at the sky! They were probably completely dumbfounded. I can see them nudging each other and muttering "Did you see that?" "Did that just happen?" "Where did he go?" "Is he coming back?"

And the angels answer that. He's coming back the same way he left. Now I bet, based on that information, they kept their eyes heavenward for the rest of the day - maybe even the week, expecting him to come back down the celestial elevator at any minute.

When he didn't return, and instead the Holy Spirit came upon them, they were finally able to understand (as well as anyone can) what happened, and fulfill their mission.

Bet they kept looking up though!

(photo from

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