10 They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “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.”
I became enamored with the skies at an early age, sitting on the rich, velvety bluegrass in my back yard, counting the clouds above. There is something absolutely captivating in the sky; we sense it every time we look up. My mother used to sit outside in the back yard, and we would share a picnic lunch together while enjoying the beautiful skies above. She would read the fairy tale, Chicken Licken, and it was by far one of my favorite picnic stories. Do you remember the rhyming names of the cast of characters? Let's see - there was: Chicken Licken (or Chicken Little), Henny Penny, Lucky Ducky, Loosey Goosey (or Gander Pander), Turkey Lurkey and Foxy Loxy. I could relate best to Loosey Goosey. In fact, my mother used to call me that every now and then. Which character best describes you?
In the story, Chicken Licken fears that the sky is falling when an acorn falls from a nearby tree and bops her on the head. She frantically spreads the scary news to all the animals as she goes to tell the King. What is most interesting about this story is that it has a garden variety of endings and morals, depending upon your point of view. In one ending, the storybook animals are saved by the King’s hunting dogs. In another version, the sky actually falls and takes out Foxy Loxy. My takeaway is that I am not to be a Chicken Licken but to face my fears with faith and step out in courage each new day.
I imagine the disciples were caught up in the rapture of the moment as they watched their resurrected Savior rise up into the heavenly skies. With eyes fixed upon the clouds above, their mouths gaping wide open; it took two men dressed in brilliant white to bring them back down to earth. “Why are you standing here looking up?” they questioned the believers. “This Jesus who was taken up will return in the exact same way.” I can’t blame the men and women from not wanting to divert their eyes from the sky, knowing that He will one day soon return in the clouds.
The truth is simple. Because of Jesus Christ, we have His resurrection hope pulsing in our veins. We know He is coming back! We could stand around staring at the skies and waiting for Christ’s imminent return. He didn’t say to His disciples, “Now stand here and wait for me. I’ll be back!” No, Jesus commanded His disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations – there is much work to be done before He returns.
We can now face our every fear with faith. In a world where the sky seems to be literally falling down around us, we have Christ’s Word to assure us of full salvation in Him. He will not forsake us. We will see Him coming again on the clouds one day soon, and that’s a bonafide lifetime guarantee! Until then, we need to stop gawking at the skies above and get busy spreading the news! Jesus Christ is alive! He heals the sick, frees us from sin, and brings everlasting hope to the hopeless. Spread the Good News today, in Jesus’ name!
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC -
© Copyright 2009, Deb Spaulding
All rights reserved
Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.