If I am reading the church calendar correctly tomorrow is Ascension Day, forty days after Easter. When I read the first chapter of Acts, I read that Jesus appeared to the disciples during the forty days after Resurrection Sunday and then he “ascended.” He left them.
If you keep reading Acts, you discover that ten days later, on Pentecost, the “Spirit” came to the assembled disciples.
For some reason, this year, I have been thinking about the ten days between Ascension and Pentecost. What might those ten days have been like for Jesus’ disciples? How did they deal with his “absence” again? I suspect it was probably different for them than the time between his death and Resurrection. But they still had to deal with his absence. How much were they expecting (or at least hoping for) another “miracle”? How much were they disappointed he left them? How discouraged were they that the “Kingdom” had not come as they expected? How do you think they felt when the “men in white” asked them why they were standing around, looking up?
If I am honest with myself, I have to admit there are days when God does not seem as near as I once thought. On those days, I sometimes ask what is wrong with me and on other days I even start to ask (sometimes only in a whisper), what is wrong with God? Are those days for me something like the days between Ascension Day and Pentecost?
Do I stand around looking to where something once was? Or, do I walk toward whatever is to come next?
How do you deal with times of waiting and absence? Which way do you look most often? To what was or to what is to come?