Staring At the Heavens

When they had gathered together they asked him,

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons

that the Father has established by his own authority.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,

and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,

throughout Judea and Samaria,

and to the ends of the earth.”

When he had said this, as they were looking on,

he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.

While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,

suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.

They said, “Men of Galilee,

why are you standing there looking at the sky?

This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven

will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Acts 1:1-11

To the tune AURELIA:

We're staring at the heavens
to see the Lord's return,
but to the earth we're given,
to serve as he has done:
Not with the wings of angels
or soul's unbodied flame,
but with th hands he made us
to labor in his name.

For Jesus came incarnate
from heaven to the earth:
like ours, his human body;
like ours, his helpless birth.
Though heaven witnessed to him,
his suffering and death,
it's here on earth we knew him
who gave us life and breath.

So let us not stand staring
and watching empty skies,
but let us go forth daring
to witness to the Christ:
our feet in faithful roving,
our hands in mercy's work,
our hearts and minds in loving
God's images on earth.
Ascension of Christ by Adriaen van Overbeke, c. 1510–1520 –, Public Domain,

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