Working Instead of Watching
Why are you standing here staring at the sky? (Acts 1:11 )
I knew a woman once who was convinced that Jesus’ return was right around the corner. She was sure that we were living not only in the last days but in the last few minutes. She stopped going to work, didn’t bother to pay her bills, and even cancelled a hair appointment. That was about fifteen years ago.
At the time she had just finished reading a book that predicted the return of Jesus by a specific date. She gave me a copy, and I found a dozen flaws within the first few chapters, but that didn’t faze my friend. She was still so convinced that her life came to a complete stop. When the date came and went without fanfare, the author revised his thoughts and published an addendum to the book predicting a new date and time a few years down the road. My friend bought his pamphlet as well and decided to go back to work. At least for a while. I’ve since lost touch with her.
When Jesus was taken up into heaven in a cloud, a crowd stood by and watched. The angels saw them with their jaws dropped open and said to them, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!” (Acts 1:11 ).
In spite of the angels’ words, people have been watching the sky ever since. We’re often so mesmerized by the thought of Jesus’ return that we spend more time gazing than we do preparing the way. I think if we listened closely, we could still hear the angels saying to us, “Why are you standing here staring at the sky when there’s still so much work to be done?”
Is there anyone on your street who doesn’t know Jesus? If so, then don’t just stand there.
Are there any people in your city who don’t have food or shelter this evening? If so, why are you staring at the sky?
Have you drawn as close to God as you could be? stored up all the heavenly treasures you want? righted all the wrongs within your sphere of influence? If not, then haven’t you got work to do? As Christians, we’re all excited about Jesus’ return, but until then there are things he needs us to be doing.
How are you preparing for the return of Jesus? What do you need to do that you haven’t yet done?