ACTS 1:9-11 // Joy to come
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “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.”
The joy of a returning friend. This is not a time for standing around. Just standing and looking at the sky. I’m not sure I could imagine someone being taken up and being hidden by a cloud. I can imagine fog obstructing my view. A mist rolling in and covering the scene as there on the Mount of Olives but, when the mists I see clear, all is as it ever was. When this cloud clears a new era has begun. In fact while they are still standing there gazing upward a new season begins. Announced by angels, as so many new seasons are, “He will return”. But there is new season of ‘not yet’. A new kingdom has come in Jesus and will come fully when he returns. This season, as we will see through acts and as we experience daily, is about the kingdom coming. Too often we forget the end of the story. The challenge for the disciples and for us is to live for the end of the story or rather to live for the new beginning; when all things are made new. To keep our eyes fixed on Jesus is not only to focus on the historical or even present reality of him but to also to look to the coming king. Surely Jesus spoke with the disciples about his second coming. We see in Acts a demonstration of how to live in the season of ‘now and not yet’. We see it is a tricky, confusing, dangerous and glorious place to live.
If the reality of the kingdom was drawn as a line with ‘now’ (full reality) written at one end and ‘not yet (future hope) written at the other end, where would you put yourself today?
God of the now and still yet more to come, comfort me. Lift my eyes to know you are here with me and to know that one day I will fully be with you.