by Seattle ALC
The ascension of Our Lord is often forgotten in the busyness of life. Perhaps waiting doesn’t sit easy with us. Jesus told His disciples to wait until they were endowed with power from on high, from God, through the third part of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. We know that they were drawn closer together during this time period. Closer to one another, but even more importantly to the Lord. It is one thing to come together in a social context, we thrive on social gatherings. To be united together in fellowship is something even more important and necessary. In social gathering we, can and should, leave with a feeling of well being. We are after all, social creatures.
Being united in fellowship is being united by something out of the realm of our control. How often do we try and control our social situations to meet our comfort level of feeling good? How difficult is it to step outside of that comfort zone we all establish?
Isn’t that exactly what Jesus asked of His disciples when they were told to wait at Jerusalem? Jerusalem, the city that had just crucified their Companion of three plus years. The same city that was all stirred up about the fact Jesus was no longer in the tomb, that He had been laid in. The disciples believed he had risen victorious, but the rest of the city didn’t.
The ascension of Jesus wasn’t the end result of the waiting for the disciples, nor is it for us a believers today. The power of His resurrection has brought us life and His ascension has brought the fulfillment of His return to His Father and to Our Father. His work on earth was completed. But Jesus had also promised that they, nor us today, would be left alone. The day of Pentecost would soon herald the outpouring and indwelling of the Holy Spirit to provide strength and power to all believers. It is in the completed work of Jesus Christ that we find fellowship and strength for the day. The Apostle Paul put it so well at the end of the 8th chapter of Romans verses 31-39:
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”
It was the power of the Holy Spirit that provided strength for the early Church to go out and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To share the message of a kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy. May the same Spirit and the One that is on the right hand of God be your strength and guide! May you find the fellowship of believing, in waiting on the Lord with your fellow believers!
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