Acts 1:10-11 – 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?’
When I was growing up, I was taught that it is rude to stare. ‘Don’t gawp’ my mother used to say. ‘Not only is it rude but it makes you look stupid. And besides. Haven’t you got things to get on with?’ Well, as a matter of fact I did have things to get on with. Good old mum. But as I read these verses, I can hear my mother’s voice all over again, through the mouths of the two men dressed in white, telling the apostles to stop gawping, there’s work to be done. We’ve met these two men before of course. They appear at the tomb on Easter morning asking the women why they look for the living among the dead (Luke 24:4-5). And now here at the ascension they raise a similar concern: the possibility, as well as irony, that by staring too long into the sky we might miss what God wants to do which is to transform the world.
Prayer: Dear Lord, so often I don’t understand what it is you are about. Help me to stay focused on what I do know which is the call to bear witness to your gospel in the power of the Spirit.