Acts 1:6-11 (NRSV)

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 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.” 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 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 1:8 (NRSV)

8 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.”   

DEVOTION – James A. Harnish (Florida)

In our reading from Acts, Jesus was reiterating what he had said before:  “About that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matt. 24:36, NIV).  Jesus’ parables consistently conclude with the challenge for his followers to be “faithful servants” who are doing their Lord’s work every day with the urgency of those who know that any day could be their last.

The good news is that we are given power to live now in ways that are consistent with the value of God’s kingdom.  We are called to prepare the way for God’s reign of gracious love, social justice, human reconciliation and peace in our world.

God’s promise is not to destroy this world but to redeem it.  In John 3:17, Jesus speaks,:  “God did not sent the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”  With these words Jesus calls us not to abandon this earth but to be a part of its healing and redemption by the power of the Spirit of God at work in us.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: How will I prepare the way for God’s kingdom on earth?

PRAYER: Dear God, bring healing to the world through our witness.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE WORKING FOR PEACE

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