An interesting connection occurred in church on Sunday as the passage from Acts 1 was read, it being the Sunday after the Ascension. Jesus had just been taken up into heaven. Then Luke tells us that:
suddenly two men in white robes stood by [the disciples]. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven?It rang a bell with a passage often heard on Easter. There, in Luke's Gospel, the women have come to the tomb... and it is empty. They are perplexed when:
suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen."Same author, two stories, same question...
Why are you standing here?"Well," they might have answered, "it's where we happen to be. We thought we were with Jesus or looking for him, or whatever."
And the answer comes back, "So, why are you standing around. Isn't it obvious He's not here?"
What else were they (and us?) supposed to do? What is the big rush? Why the questioning?
As the pastor led me to think about this in his sermon Sunday, it may be all about not getting stuck in the past. It may be about moving on into what is in store for us. It may be about living instead of dying, acting instead of talking, trusting instead of trying to figure it all out.
It can be so easy to stand around and be afraid or perplexed (Easter morning with an empty tomb)
feeling the awe and warm fuzzies of Jesus love as he ascends into heaven (Ascension.)
But if we end up just standing around we will miss even more than we can imagine.