“Every true Christian is a citizen of two worlds,” wrote Martin Luther King Jr., “the world of time and the world of eternity. We are, paradoxically, in the world and yet not of the world... As Christians, we must never surrender our supreme loyalty to any time-bound custom or earth-bound idea, for at the heart of our universe is a higher reality—God and his kingdom of love—to which we must be conformed.”
One of the best ways to celebrate Christ’s first Advent is to pray with keen anticipation for His Second Advent. Following His resurrection, for 40 days Jesus appeared to many people and “gave many convincing proofs that he was alive” (v. 3). As His time on earth drew to a close, He instructed His followers to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit (vv. 4–5; see Acts 2).
Jesus’ followers naturally wondered what would happen next. Some were expecting the Messiah to set up His kingdom (v. 6). He told them, however, that the time for that had not yet come (v. 7). They were to spread the good news throughout the world (v. 8). The promised Holy Spirit would be the One empowering them to carry out this mission! When Jesus ascended into heaven, His disciples stared up into the sky, stunned (v. 10). Was this a temporary disappearance? Would He return? Two angels definitively answered this question: “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (v. 11). And here, you and I today as His church are still waiting eagerly for Christ’s return!
>> Are you eagerly waiting for Christ’s return? Sometimes we avoid talking about the Second Coming because it feels controversial or risky. But Paul commanded us to encourage one another with this truth (1 Thess. 4:16–18).
Lord, as we look forward to the Second Coming, we are aware that we join countless Christians in a vigil that began when you ascended. Teach us to live according to the guidance of your Spirit.