In God's timing we discover Jesus leaving this earth. We have these words recorded by the writer Luke in Acts:
"In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which he said, "you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." Acts 1:1-11
The thirty-three plus years on earth was enough time for Jesus to fulfill the mission that he had come to do - bringing in the kingdom of God and through his death and resurrection bring eternal life to us.
We would note that even though he was leaving, he did entrust his followers with a task. They would be his witnesses to the end of the earth! Yes, we have been given our orders to bring the kingdom of God throughout our world. I realize that some congregations have been able to support missions overseas and also to do mission trips abroad. I believe that each congregation also has to look at the mission field within one's own backyard. It's all about getting to know the people and also their needs and interests as well as their lifestyle. How can the Gospel be contextualized in reaching these folks?
I invite you to contemplate the task Jesus has given us in being his witnesses. May God's blessing be upon your reflection as well as your worship this Sunday.