What I’m Thinking: Looking Up

Why look up for Jesus? Actually, the question should be: Why aren’t we looking elsewhere for Jesus?

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the first chapter of Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:6-14) the ascension of Jesus.

After his resurrection, according to Acts of the Apostles, Jesus spent some time in Jerusalem with his followers, teaching them about the things that were still to be done and, I would imagine, encouraging them and strengthening them for the tasks they were taking on. According to Luke, who wrote the book of Acts, Jesus was still teaching them at the very moment that he was lifted up into the air and vanished into a cloud.

The story says that the disciples looked up after him until a pair of mysterious strangers asked why they were looking up into heaven. “This same Jesus who disappeared in that way will reappear in the same way.”

Why are you looking up?

Well we’re looking up because that was where Jesus went. We’re looking up because that was the last place that we saw Jesus. We’re looking up because we really want to see Jesus again.

The strangers’ – angels’ – messengers’ word to them is assuring but also confusing. “Don’t look up,” they say, but at the same time that’s where you’re going to see Jesus again. I’d have thought that would encourage me to keep looking up, rather than to bring my eyes back down. Because I think that Luke may have recorded that message just a little bit off.

Because the point is not that we don’t look for Jesus in the clouds; the point is that we look for Jesus elsewhere. The point is that we carry on the work that Jesus gave us. The point is that shortly in the book of Acts the Holy Spirit is about to come and both the courage and the skills and the energy (Both? That’s three… well) all of those of the disciples are going to be substantially increased.

The reason you can’t stand around looking up it’s because there is so much to do at ground level. The reason that you can’t stand and look up is that Jesus is still active in the world. The reason you can’t stand and look up is because Jesus is active in you.

Why do you look up to heaven? Well, because the eye follows a moving object, and the point is for us to be the moving objects that the eyes follow, to be the ones in whom Jesus can be recognized in our love and care and grace.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: | Posted on May 15, 2023

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