Reading through the first chapter of Acts I came across an interesting passage. Jesus was asked right before he ascended to heaven on when he would free Israel. Jesus replied that the Father sets those dates and they were not for us to know and then talks about the power of the Holy Spirit which was about to be given to us.
It was not long after he said this that he was taken up into the sky while they were watching, and he disappeared into a cloud. As they were straining their eyes to see him, two white-robed men suddenly stood there among them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!” – Acts 1:9-11
What struck me about this is that question of “Why are you staring?” To me it seems those two men were telling the disciples, “He’s coming back this same way someday. You don’t need to worry about when that happens or sit here waiting. Get off your butt, get out there and tell people about Jesus before so they are ready for his return, whenever that may be.”
Complete conjecture on my part, however there are sometimes I feel like I’m just staring at the sky. Staring and waiting. Meanwhile, God has meaningful work he wants me to do or is putting opportunities in front of me that I’m missing, because I’m staring at the sky.
The disciples were told not too long before this;
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
See the beauty of it is, we don’t have to sit and stare at the sky wondering when Jesus will return. He is with us always and everywhere. We need to get out there, help those in need, lovingly tell people about Jesus and prepare for his return in that way.