Listen to today’s devo!

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. (Acts 1:9)

I watched my youngest son’s face as Yoda vanished beneath his bed cloth amidst the tears of Luke Skywalker. Trying to understand this penultimate scene from The Return of the Jedi, my son turned to me and asked, “Did Yoda just die?” I nodded affirmingly and put my arm around him. Imagine a different scene. Imagine if, instead of vanishing, Yoda would have floated out of the room and up into the sky. What question do you think my young son would have asked? Most likely not, “Did Yoda just die” but rather, “Where did Yoda go?”

Over a period of forty days, Jesus appeared to his disciples and disappeared from their sight. This time was different. Jesus did not bodily ascend to heaven through the clouds because of a physical necessity. He ascended this way in order for his disciples to truly understand that he was going away for a while. He would not be reappearing in the next few days, but he would return at some point. If he had simply disappeared on this occasion, they would have stayed in Jerusalem to wait for him.

This ascension allowed the disciples to go out boldly and to carry on Jesus’ mission. It was their time to act, and we are privileged to continue this mission started on that day so long ago.

Carry on the mission of Jesus with confidence.

Mark A. Moore, PhD, is an associate professor of theology at William Jessup University and the spiritual formation pastor at Faith Legacy Church in Sacramento, CA.

© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.