A Clear Blue Sky


The following excerpt is from an article at preachingtoday.com.


In April 2013 an article in the USA Today Moneysection reported that Apple's stock has been struggling. According to the article, "The Apple stock crash is reaching a historic order of magnitude, shaking the faith of investors who piled on in large part on Jobs' showmanship." Shares are down 44 percent and the crash has obliterated $291.2 billion in shareholder wealth.


What has precipitated Apple's stock crash? The causes may be complex, but the article focused on one primary factor—the death of co-founder Steve Jobs on October 5, 2011. Apple isn't the only company that has struggled in the absence of a successful CEO. Research has shown "the fact that a sick or dying CEO is generally a big problem right away for stocks." The article noted that when a CEO leaves a company the "short-term shock" turns into "long-term disappointment."


In contrast, the last time Apple was in serious trouble Jobs was there to move the company forward with fresh energy and vision. But without Jobs, as one prominent stock analyst contends, Apple is "becoming just another stock" and that "the phenomenon [of Apple] is unwinding."


I’ll believe it when I see it.  As far as I can tell, the cult of Apple is still strong.  But the article does bring up an interesting point—that of succession.  What do you do when the charismatic leader of any movement is suddenly, or even not so suddenly, gone?  I can think of two major evangelical figures whose sons will soon struggle to fill their impressive shoes.


But it seems that nothing can compare to the sense of bewilderment the disciples must have felt as they watched Jesus return to the Father, leaving nothing more than the instruction to return to Jerusalem and “wait.”  How will they carry on?  Who are they now that Jesus isn’t with them?


Our familiarity with the story of the ascension of Christ keeps us from understanding what a completely unexpected move it is. Who would imagine that Jesus would leave so soon after the resurrection? And what does that mean for us?  I think it means something very basic.  We’ll talk about it this Sunday.