Ascension Day for Kirwan Uniting Church's Keep in Touch pew sheet.
Today as I write this, Thursday just gone as you read it, is Ascension Day. Read Luke’s account in Acts 1 - I’d take up both sides of Keep in Touch if I post the whole passage. It happens during one of the Bible’s “In between” times, between Jesus’ resurrection and the Spirit coming to the Church at Pentecost. The disciples, flushed with happiness that Jesus has conquered death and assuming that He will soon conquer the occupying Romans and give them (the disciples) prestigious positions in the new Kingdom, ask Jesus when that will happen. But Jesus tells them that they will have power, just not the sort of power for which they were hoping. “Go back to Jerusalem and wait”, says Jesus. Back to the very place where He had recently been crucified. And the power which they would receive would not be to Lord it over their erstwhile enemies, but rather to witness to them, and to the whole world. The word, “Witness”, would carry foreboding because it has the same meaning as “Martyr”.
You know, we’re told exactly the same thing as those disciples. Go to where we might have experienced apathy at best or rejection at worst. And witness to people who don’t even have a reference point of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Don’t waste time gazing up waiting for Jesus to come back, but witness in the calm assurance that He will come back. Can’t do it, you’re not equipped? You are equipped , whether you know it or not, that’s the Pentecost part of the story. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28)