Today’s Scripture: Acts 1:9-11
9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
Our son Evan has autism and one of the ways it expresses itself is by him getting “stuck”. For example, sometimes we will tell him to go and wash his hands before dinner. He will walk to the sink and just stand there – not moving an inch – looking at the faucet. He’s stuck. Something in his head is preventing him from moving on. We will tell him again to wash his hands but often we have to physically touch him – tap him on the back, move his hands towards the water, kick him in the bottom (just kidding!) Only after we touch him will he move on.
I see this passage in the first chapter of Acts as the two angels trying to get the disciples to move on and not get stuck. I wonder if they had to physically push some of them down the road and back towards Jerusalem? The angels remind us that God does not want us to just stare into heaven. There is work to be done.
As we move through this pandemic, I have often found myself stuck. Some days I even find myself staring up into the sky just like the disciples. It’s almost as if I am hoping that things will magically return to normal. It’s like we are standing between a life we knew and loved and a life we don’t know anything about. All we know is that it’s going to be different. I think the disciples were feeling the same way.
The angels’ action allowed the disciples to become un-stuck and move on. They were able to honor the past by moving into the future. That’s what we are going to need to do as well – honor the past, but move into the future.
I have no idea what that future is going to look like. But I do know that there will be a temptation to get stuck. But if the disciples had stayed there, looking up into heaven, we would not be here today following the one who ascended. You and I are followers of Christ because the disciples moved on.
I wonder what amazing things God has planned for a post-pandemic world? The only way to find out is to not get stuck and move into that future – no matter what.
God we admit that there are times we would rather just stare into the sky. But you are calling us to move forward on the journey. Help us to not get stuck but to move on with faith that you have us in your hands.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Day 6 61-70 Acts 1:1-6:7
Day 7 70-82 Acts 6:8-12:25
Day 8 82-94 Acts 13:1-19-:20
Day 9 95-110 Acts 19:21-28:30
Day 10 111-123 1Th 1:1-2Th 3:18