Pause

Life is often a struggle and sometimes it is dangerous. There are many things that can cause us to stumble and it’s easy to be afraid of what is “out there.”

But the way of Jesus is one that calls us to risk, to dare, to take a chance. This is the way Jesus lived and the path to which he calls us.

It’s good to know that, all along the way, we are covered and cared for, protected by the Spirit of God. Whether or not you are feeling vulnerable right now, trust in the Spirit to watch over you.

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Listen

When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:9-11

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Think

It’s the last time that the risen Jesus is with his followers. They have asked their final questions; he has given his final instructions. And then he is gone. Again.

I imagine that the people didn’t want to tear their eyes away from the sky, hoping to catch one last glimpse of Jesus’ face. Who knows how long they would have stood there if the two heavenly messengers hadn’t appeared?

Jesus never instructed his followers to stand around getting cricks in their necks, watching for his return. He doesn’t instruct us to do that, either. But sometimes we fall into that posture. We concern ourselves with things beyond this world to the exclusion of the people in this world. We concern ourselves more with belief than action.

When that happens, it has been my experience that God finds a way to say, “What are you staring at the sky for? Look here: here are the people that I love. Will you love them? Look at this: this is a problem that concerns me. Will you help?”

Julie Ball

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Pray

Lord, I’m so easily distracted. Refocus my attention today. Show me what’s important to you. Amen.

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Go

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3–5

Julie Ball

Julie Ball lives with her family in Memphis, Tennessee, where she wears many hats: mom, wife, writer, teacher, musician, lifelong learner, and cupcake connoisseur. Julie shares her thoughts and experiences on her blog, Meeting God in Memphis.

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