In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 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.”
Food for Thought:
This is the beginning of the book of Acts. Luke, who also wrote the Gospel, writes to a Theophilus, explaining that he is going to put together an orderly account. In this passage, Luke talks about convincing proofs. I think about this idea of proof so often when it comes to Christianity. Some people want to have all the proof before they can believe in the message. They want to have all the right answers. But what I have come to learn with age is that it’s okay to say that we don’t know that we believe in God on faith. There are just some things in the world of faith that are a mystery that we may never know in our lifetime, and that’s okay. Think about some issue of faith that you have struggled with for a long time. Can you say, “I don’t know,” and find peace in the unknowing?
Precious love, your ascended Son promised the gift of holy power. Send your Spirit of revelation and wisdom, that in the blessed freedom of hope, we may witness to the grace of forgiveness and sing songs of joy with the peoples of earth to the One who makes us one body. In your precious name we pray, Amen.