May 28, 2017
The Ascension of our Lord
Acts 1:1-11

 

This week we celebrate Ascension Day, the day that Christ ascends to heaven to take his place at the right hand of God. It is the day that marks the end of the forty days of post resurrection appearances, a time described in the book of acts, “After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3) The next significant liturgical holiday will be the day of Pentecost, the 50th day after the resurrection, the day when the promised Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples, the day that gives birth to the church, the day which empowers the people of God to begin living out the mission of the church, the proclamation of the Gospel, the Kingdom of God.

 

However, as I pondered these two significant church holidays and their theological significance, I found myself more fascinated with the ten days between the Ascension and Pentecost than those actual holy days. I wondered what was going on during that time, that time of waiting. I imagined the disciples struggled during that time, that there were moments of hope and excitement, as well as uncertainty and doubt. Jesus was no longer present in the same way, he was no longer teaching and leading them, all that was left was a promise that God was about to do something new. And they were asked to be patient, to keep the faith, to be hopeful, and to wait for the promise to be made manifest.

 

I guess I find myself wondering about those ten days because that’s something I can relate to in my life. I know what it’s like to wait on the promise, to struggle with keeping the faith, to be hopeful as I wait on the spirit to better understand and live out my life in the kingdom.

 

So what do the disciples do during those ten days? We don’t have too much information about those days but we do know that they returned to the upper room, to that place where they share the last supper, to the promises of God’s loving presence in bread and wine. It is important to note that they did not each go their separate ways to figure out what might happen next, but that they stayed together, realizing the importance of being in community. They also went to the temple to worship God and give God thanks and praise. And we know that they prayed, seeking God’s will, remembering and meditating on all the things Jesus taught them about the kingdom of God. As they waited they prepared for what was to come next by doing faithful things with faithful people.

 

As we find ourselves waiting on the spirit, as we work through those times when we are uncertain or struggling with God’s call in our life, let us remember what the disciples practiced and modeled for us in those ten days. Let us gather with others who are seeking God’s will, reflect on the teachings of Christ, and engage in prayer. As we do these things, the spirit will come!

 

This week’s song is based on the prayer spoken by Paul in this week’s epistle, “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you … “ (Ephesians 1:17-18a)

 

      1. The Hope Of Your Love

 

May your light,
Shine bright,
With the wisdom that comes from above,
Grace I never dreamed of,
Opening the eyes of my heart with the hope of your love.

 

When we are empty, when we are locked away
When we are scattered, each one gone astray
When we’re afraid, before the break of day
Hear us Lord, Hear us Lord, as we pray

 

May your light,
Shine bright,
With the wisdom that comes from above,
Grace I never dreamed of,
Opening the eyes of my heart with the hope of your love.

 

When we are lost, wandering in the night
When we have doubts, captive to our sight
When we are stuck, starring at the sky
Hear us Lord, Hear us Lord, as we cry

 

May your light,
Shine bright,
With the wisdom that comes from above,
Grace I never dreamed of,
Opening the eyes of my heart with the hope of your love.

 

 

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