April 29, 2020
While watching bulky white clouds move across a beautiful blue sky, my mind went to Acts 1. After Jesus spent 40 days with the disciples, “giving them convincing proofs that He was alive,” He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit that the Father would send to them.
The disciples wanted to know when Jesus would restore the kingdom, but He said that only the Father knows that information. After they received the power of the Holy Spirit, they were to tell His Story – starting locally and moving globally.
They apparently were on the Mount of Olives when Jesus “was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.” I try to imagine their emotions as they watched and wondered. We are not told how long they just stood there, “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.’” They then returned to Jerusalem.
I enjoy watching cloud formations, but I have never seen anyone disappear into the clouds. I wonder if those disciples ever looked at clouds again in quite the same way. Did they walk out to that mountain now and then and wonder if they would see Jesus come back? These many years later, we are still counting on Jesus’ return, because God always keeps His Word. I want to believe that in the days and years following this event, as these people told Jesus’ story locally and beyond, that they often looked at the clouds to remind them of this promise.
It is a good reminder to me to pay more attention to the clouds and let them help me stay focused on the return of Jesus. He said He would be back for us. It could be today. And I John 3 says that when we live with the constant hope of Jesus’ return, we are motivated to live a pure life.
Pastor Bill Ehmann