The Book of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts) chapter 1, verses 6 through 9.
6So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
7He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But 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."
9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
Its Mission Month at our church.
We're going to dwell for a while on Acts 1:8; the idea of being witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the Ends of the Earth.
That's a lot of witnessing!
I imagine that it would've been pretty imposing for the disciples as well.
They get this command to do all this work (with the help of the Holy Spirit... which they currently do not fully understand) and then they have to watch Jesus leave them! And He does so in one of His miraculous and amazing ways... ascending into heaven.
So there they are - as we are today - literally stunned into silence and staring up at the sky. Too afraid to lower their eyes, for fear that they'll have to get a gameplan together in order to get that job of witnessing done. When along comes one of my more favorite moments in scripture (the angels always have the fun jobs) ...
10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11"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."
If I'd been one of the disciples, caught up in the momentous awe and wonder, I would've jumped out of my skin!
So why do we stand there and look into the sky?
He's just told us that the times and the dates aren't for us to know... so we might as well get a move on. ... Commence the witnessing!!!
But that's not easy or fun, is it?
No, not on our own.
But we're not on our own...
May God's Holy Spirit be with you and with all of us, as we seek to make good on the opportunities to witness that God provides for us this month!
(more to come later... maybe.)