I have always considered the question posed by the angels in Acts 1:11 to be one of the most relevant questions in the Bible. It is just as much for us as it was for the disciples. “Why do you stand her looking into the sky?” I can feel the sense of spiritual bewilderment evident on the disciple’s faces that must have been obvious to the two angels. I felt it when God called me to be a missionary and learn another language. I felt it over our career as the challenges of ministry just kept coming. I felt it when Judy became ill, and it made no sense at all. I feel it even today as I look to my life and ministry “post-Judy.” The reason for the question was quickly given by the angels: “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.” That is really the only answer we need for any and all of life’s bewildering episodes. Christ is coming back for us! What are we going to do in the meantime? Scratch our heads as we as into the sky or put our hands to the varied tasks that life presents to us?
Jesus had revealed to the disciples, and to us, all that we need to know for living meaningful lives in bewildering times. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…” (1:8). We are not clueless! We are not helpless! We are not powerless! We are filled with the very purpose and power of God for every day of our lives. We exist to be witnesses for Christ! In our families, in the workplace (including student life), in our churches, God has provided his power for the most difficult of challenges on the one hand, or the most uninspiring and tedious moments on the other hand. This power is provided so we can be his living witnesses in and through all circumstances. A short time before his ascension, Jesus had said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (Jn. 20:21). That is our mission. Go! Go in the power God has given you in his gift of the Holy Spirit.