First a thank you to all those who made our Easter celebrations such memorable ones! We really did have joyous celebrations at all our services on Easter Day. A special thank you to the flower arrangers who made our church look even more beautiful than it normally is!
We move on now in our journey through the church’s year to Ascension Day on Thursday 25 May. Long gone are the days when schools gave a day off for this church festival and announced the 11+ results on the same day, but their association with the ascending to heaven of our Lord is for ever linked in my mind.
And it seems appropriate given that the ascension describes the disciples’ final period of instruction whilst Jesus was still with them. Jesus is preparing the disciples for their future work. It is a future that will see them declare Jesus as Lord and they are told to declare it to all nations.
And before he ascends to heaven Jesus gives the disciples a promise that he will send the Holy Spirit to fill them with power for the task set before them.
So how did the disciples spend the time waiting for the Holy Spirit? In both versions of the story in Acts 1 verses 1 to 11 and Luke 24 verses 50 to 53 the disciples spend their time in prayer. And the disciples who so often got things wrong, misunderstanding the parables and deserting Jesus at his arrest and crucifixion, in the end, right at the end of Jesus earthly ministry the disciples got it right. They passed the test. The disciples did as they were told and stayed in Jerusalem and prayed continually.
And we too wait the return of Jesus. We like the disciples are asked to tell people about Jesus everywhere to the ends of the earth.
We are not to stand and stare at heaven whilst we wait for Jesus return but to act, because Jesus will return. The disciples took that on board and lived and acted as if his return would be at any moment. We are believers today because of the effective witness of the disciples.
So on this Ascension Day will you be having a day off or passing the test continually praying and witnessing for Jesus in constant expectation of Jesus return?
God Bless you.