May 20, 2020

 

Tomorrow the church will celebrate Ascension Day, the day that the resurrected Jesus ascends into the heavens to sit at the right hand of God.  Luke describes the event, “Then (Jesus) led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.”  (Luke 24:5-51). The disciples are left behind watching Jesus slowly drift away until he finally disappears.

 

This event begins a new chapter in their life, a chapter without the incarnate presence of Jesus.  He is no longer walking beside them on the road, he is no longer engaging them in conversation, he is no longer sharing meals with them, he is gone.  He does however leave them with a great promise, the promise of the Holy Spirit, the promise that he will be present, that God will be present, in a new way.

 

But at this point, they have no idea what that means, all they know is that they are now seemingly alone in the world.  The joy of the resurrection has suddenly given way to the anxiety that accompanies great uncertainty.  They have no idea what will happen next.  All they can do is wait, clinging to what remains of their faith, hoping that it is enough to sustain them on this new journey.

 

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic we are constantly reminded that it has changed everything.  We’ve been warned that we won’t be going to back to normal any time soon, in fact we’ve been told that we may never go back to “normal,” and to expect a “new normal.”  Whether we like it or not, life is changing.

 

Liminal space is often uncomfortable space.  Something has ended and something new has yet to begin. May God grant us a “strong love” and a “strange peace” as we embark on the journey before us.

 

      1. Strong Love, Strange Peace - Greg Ronning

 

 

 

I believe that you love me,
I believe that you’re here
But there’s a haunting voice,
That whispers in my ear
I’ve been to the mountain,
 I’ve heard you call my name
But in the middle of the storm,
I become afraid

 

I need your love,
I need your peace
In the midst of the uncertainty
The doubt that just won’t leave
I need your strong love and strange peace

 

I forget where we’ve been,
I forget what we’ve done
My memory always fades away,
With the rising of the sun
All the gifts that you gave me,
All the dreams in my heart
I begin to second guess,
I begin to fall apart

 

I need your love,
I need your peace
In the midst of the uncertainty
The doubt that just won’t leave
I need your strong love and strange peace

 

I believe that you love me,
That you’re here right now
But there’s a haunting voice,
That’s always present somehow
I’ve been to the mountain,
I’ve heard you call my name
But in the middle of the storm,
I become afraid

 

I need your love,
I need your peace
In the midst of the uncertainty
The doubt that just won’t leave
I need your strong love and strange peace

 

 

 

 

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