The Apostles: Where Are You Looking?

We continue, today, our journey through the Books of Acts by picking up right where we left off last week. To refresh your memory, we looked at how Jesus called the Apostles, the group who had followed him throughout his earthly ministry, to remain in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit. We even said there are times when we need to wait on God as we go out to share the message with others.

We pick up the story still as the Apostles and Jesus are still in Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus is giving his final instructions, but he is preparing to leave them soon. This Sunday, which we affectionately call Mother’s Day, is, this year, also the day we celebrate as Ascension Sunday. It focuses on an event 40 days after Easter when Jesus ascended to heaven to return to his place at the right hand of God the Father. This day anticipates the celebration of Pentecost, which is next Sunday, when we will celebrate the church’s birthday when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles.

For now, we are on the mountaintop receiving these last words from Jesus. He tells them that they will receive power from God and that they would be the witnesses of God’s love to all people. And then he ascends into the clouds.

After this moment, the Apostles cannot help but to stare into the sky looking at the clouds. Maybe they are thinking to themselves that the cloud is a sign of both the heavenly realm and God’s presence. But, most likely, the Apostles are staring into the clouds waiting for Jesus to return. Continue reading “The Apostles: Where Are You Looking?”

Living the Mission

What is on your mind?

That is one of those questions we seem to ask a lot. I know it is one that I ask Abbi, in some form, several times a day. It is a question of curiosity about someone else. With this question, we are asking someone what they are thinking about in that moment.

You may not think about this immediately, but I think there may also be a theological aspect to this question. I think it gets to a deeper meaning that brings to mind what is driving our interests. Sometimes, I think this question can be asked in such a way that it allows us to talk about what we are focused on. By this, we are asking someone about what captivates, motivates, or has their attention.

It is important that we pay attention to what our focus is. I say that because often our focus, or what holds our attention, is what we share with others. Think about this in the simplest of terms: if we are having a bad day, try as hard as we might, we might not give our best to someone else. That is because the fact we are having a bad day, or whatever else might be grabbing our attention, is often what affects our relationships with others. Continue reading “Living the Mission”