Most scholars believe the book Acts is a continuation of Luke’s gospel. In this reading from Luke, the disciples hear the promise of the Holy Spirit, watch Jesus as he is carried to heaven, and immediately return with great joy to Jerusalem. Luke leaves out a detail that is included in Acts. In Acts, as Jesus is lifted through the clouds, the disciples stand there, looking up at the sky. Suddenly, two men in white (angels?) appear and say, essentially, “What are you doing standing there with your mouths hanging open? Just as he was taken up to heaven, so will his power come down.”
At that, they head back to Jerusalem to wait. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, there would not have been a church. If those disciples had not been empowered by the Spirit to share their story, to withstand the trials that came along with their testimony, to make a compelling case, the gospel message would not have spread from Jerusalem to the surrounding countryside, to neighboring cities, and beyond.
What do you think would have happened if the disciples had not seen Jesus ascending to heaven? The disciples went to Jerusalem to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. Where do you go for that? What practices recharge your faith?
Today, make time for that practice and consider what the Spirit might be empowering you to do.