Easter is over — it’s time to spread the good word | Church Corner

It’s not time to stare — it’s time to share.

I arrived to my office on the Monday following Easter at my usual start time of 9 a.m. There, positioned in the middle of my desk was my yellow legal pad with the top page half way filled. These were the items that as of last week had to wait until this week. Because last week culminated in Easter, and was preceded by a Seder meal and Maundy Thursday observance, these items were relegated to the “post-Easter” to do list. And so there it was, staring me square in the face at 9 a.m. on a Monday. And so I did what all of you probably would have, or did do on that Monday: I poured more coffee!

Now that I was on my way to a more caffeinated morning, I then sat, somewhat mesmerized by this half sheet of “to do’s” staring at the page thinking that it might somehow just begin to take care of itself. I found that my staring at it was doing nothing for moving toward accomplishment of the tasks at hand.

I opened my Bible and began to read and came across a phrase that to some degree was describing my actions at that moment: “…Why do you stand looking into heaven?” (Acts 1:11). The disciple Luke, the author of the book entitled “The Acts of the Apostles” described me perfectly in that moment. I found myself alternating staring out my office window and then back down at the legal pad; then out the window again, and on and on!

It made me think, upon what do we focus now that Easter is over? Where do we look now?

Here were the disciples, together in Jerusalem, post-Easter. Jesus is with them and they’re speaking with him, and unfortunately, they still are having a hard time interpreting all that has happened over the course of the last few days. Jesus was crucified, he was buried, he had risen from the dead, he is now speaking with them and the disciples reveal their continued confusion over the role of the Messiah when they ask him “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” They still didn’t get it. They were still awaiting a political ruler to come along and deliver them from Roman rule.

Jesus’ response to their inquiry about his conquest must have further confused them as he told them that the time of the ushering in of a new kingdom was not for them to know. Instead of receiving a timeline, you’ll receive power from the Holy Spirit to witness about me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and in fact to the end of the earth! And then just like that, he was gone — again!

So it’s no wonder then that they stood staring up into the skies. They received a lot of information in a short time, not to mention having the one speaking to you suddenly ascend!

And so as they watch, “two men stood by them,” the author tells us, (most likely angelic beings), asking them “Why do you stand looking into heaven?”

“He’ll return,” they say. “But while you wait, rather than stare at the sky, why not capitalize on that power you’re promised? Go out and be my witnesses. You’re going to get the power to do it, so do it!”

What is the church to be doing “post” Easter? Rather than stare into the skies, why not be his witnesses? Rather than focus with a mesmerizing stare, should we not be about sharing the good news of what just occurred? This one who was “crucified, dead and buried,” as the creed tells us, faced that horrible death so that you don’t have to! The price due has been covered by him, but don’t keep that news to yourself! You’ve been empowered. Share, don’t stare!