Week 6 - 22 May 2020
'Why are you looking up into the sky?' (Acts 1:11)
This question was asked of the disciples as they were gazing up into heaven,
straining their eyes for a final glimpse of Jesus as he was taken from them. But he had already gone.
They were so focussed upwards that they missed the angels standing right beside them there on earth.
Their question exposed this fact;
'Why are you standing there looking into the sky?'
This question highlighted the urgency of the work the disciples were expected to commence.
'Don't just stand there, go and get on with the work Jesus has given you to do!"
The church today with its preoccupation for meetings, structure, buildings and the minutiae of church life,
can fall prey to prolonged self-absorption which takes our eyes off the very aim of our task.
'Don't you have a saying, 'It's still four months until harvest'?
I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. (John 4:35)
He gives us a clear picture of the urgency and immediacy of the task, The fields are ready for harvest.
Often we are so busy with other things that this project gets shelved for another time, 'we'll do it later'.
In contrast Jesus showed us that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
This makes the task urgent.
The issue isn't the size of the potential workforce, there are plenty of Christians around,
what is lacking is those who are actively working in the harvest-fields.
One problem is our view of what constitutes the harvest field.
The idea of missionary work is often limited to foreign countries, far off lands.
However, Jesus was not necessarily meaning those far off.
He started locally, as did the disciples, as indeed can we.
In this time of restricted movement we can start with our neighbourhood, our street, our homes
which are just as much places of harvest as any other.
Peter, who preached the historic first sermon on the day of Pentecost was well aware of the urgency of Jesus' call to action;
'Always be ready to give an answer for the hope you have ' (1 Peter 3:15)
Note the word 'Always';
not just sometimes when we feel the time is right, not just among people with whom we're comfortable but any time, anywhere.
Don't let us get caught gazing up into the sky daydreaming but get busy and do the work God has for us.
We are all called to action now.
Are we ready?
All of God's plans will work out just as He has planned,
but he's looking to us to be his hands, feet, eyes, mouth here on earth.