Feet in the Clouds
After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. ~ Acts 1:3-9
In the Lectionary season of Luke, after spending some time with Luke and the Kingdom of God, let's spend some time with Luke Book 2: The Book of Acts. Acts of the Apostles picks up where Luke left off and tells the adventures of Jesus' band of brothers (and sisters), now continuing to spread the news of the Kingdom of God themselves.
That journey began at the end. It began with Jesus' farewell. And what a strange farewell it was! I mean...looking up and seeing Jesus' feet as he heads out into the clouds.
In a world that was pre-science, where we didn't realize that the world was not flat, and we didn't know all those things about physics and astronomy that we do now, this idea of Jesus disappearing into the clouds and the disciples looking up and seeing his feet was one thing.
But now...What do we make of the Ascension?
I'm going to admit that honestly, I don't know. It is hard to fathom. But maybe it isn't meant to understand. Maybe it is simply meant to trust. And whether we understand it or not, there is one thing that we can know for certain:
Up to this point, even post-resurrection, Jesus' disciples were still fumbling around in the dark a little bit. And yet Jesus still left them with authority and power.
God still sent his Spirit to guide them. And comfort them.
And 2000 years later, we still sometimes feel like we are stumbling around in the dark. And we aren't going to always get it right - not as individuals. And not as a church.
Yet we still are prepared. And gifted. And called. And not alone.
So don't look up into the clouds for God. Look to your neighbor, roll up your sleeves and get ready!
There's still a lot to do!
Lord, you have prepared me. Help me spread my wings and fly! Amen.