Read: Acts 1:1-11
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? 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.”
We Hope for Jesus’ Return
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Kendall and Ryan watched in sadness as their mother brought her suitcase to the front door. It was a business trip. Kendall had experienced these before, but Ryan, who was only 4, didn’t like them at all. He worried his mom wouldn’t come home.
“Mom don’t leave! How do I know you will come home?” Ryan sobbed.
Ryan’s mom gave him a big hug and said, “I promise I will be back.” Then she handed him a box. Inside were five presents. “I want you to open one of these presents each day I’m gone, because each one will remind you how much I love you. The day you open the last one is the day I will be back.”
So Ryan opened a present each day to find a picture or reminder of his mom. After he had opened the last present on Friday, he sat at the living room window all day, waiting for his mom to come home.
Are you looking forward to Jesus’ coming back like Ryan waiting for his mom? Or, are you worried he is not going to come back? Or, maybe you haven’t even thought about it. We can get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that Jesus’ return is not even on our radar.
Jesus will come back because he has one piece of unfinished business: He needs you in heaven! That is why he came to earth the first time, to live, die, and rise from the dead so you could be in heaven. The only thing left is for Jesus to come back and bring you to heaven. When Jesus makes a promise, he keeps it.
He left you his Word, filled with all sorts of reminders of his love for you. He will be back, soon. You can count on it.
Ascended Lord and Savior Jesus, you promised to return and take us to heaven. Fill us with greater trust in your promise to return so that we eagerly wait for you to return. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What do you think will be the best part about heaven?
- Why do you know that you will be in heaven with Jesus someday?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- What special tasks did Jesus give us to do on earth while we wait for his return? (Hint: Read Acts 1:8)
- How can you make sure you are ready for Jesus’ return?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Jesus is coming back soon! Does that excite you? Or, haven’t you really thought about it? Why or why not?
- What gets in the way of staying focused on being in heaven someday? Consider ways to better stay alert.
Hymn: CW 173:1 – On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build
On Christ’s ascension I now build the hope of my ascension.
This hope alone has always stilled all doubt and apprehension;
For where the head is, there as well I know his members are to dwell
When Christ shall come and call them.