Watching Balloons

May 22, 2010
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Acts 1:10 – They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. (NIV)

Have you ever released a helium-filled balloon and watched it float up into the sky? I have done this several times in my life, and have been captivated by the balloon's flight. As it climbs skyward up into the clouds, the balloon gets smaller and smaller. Eventually, it is just a mere dot, and then it disappears entirely. I end up with sore eyes because I try to see the balloon as long as I can without blinking. One final blink, and the balloon is gone forever.

I think that's how the disciples experienced Christ's ascension. They kept looking intently up into the sky because they didn't want Him to go. So long as they could see Jesus, they knew that they weren't alone. As He disappeared into the clouds, they must have felt anxious and isolated, fearful and alone.

Suddenly, two angels appeared beside them and gave them words of comfort: "Jesus … will come back in the same way." (Acts 1:11 NIV) In other words, Christ would return to them one day. That restored hope to the disciples. And as if that weren't enough, they were also given the promise of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They didn't know what this would involve, but Jesus had spoken of this before, so the disciples must have felt that this repeated promise confirmed the truth about what the two angels were telling them: Jesus would come back.

Almost two thousand years later, we are still waiting for the promise of Jesus' return to be fulfilled. The Holy Spirit has come and established the Church on earth, and we celebrate Pentecost each year to recall the Spirit's coming. Yet we still await that glorious day when Jesus will arrive from the sky and be among us again — this time forever.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we await Your arrival on earth and yearn for that day when You will restore all things to God, and time will be no more. We pray that we will be ready to receive You and be willing to do Your holy bidding as Your everlasting servants in God's kingdom. In Your sacred name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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