I hear there is a note in the paper for me to respond to but it has been one of those flying by weeks so I will get to that for next week.
As usual too much going on in the world and often we get distracted from what really matters. The old saying of ‘I can’t see the forest for the trees’ has a lot of truth in our lives.
I wonder as we look to the texts for the ‘Seventh Sunday of Easter’, what truths might be important in the journey from the cross to the day of Pentecost. It is Ascension week; the focus appears to be His leaving.
Jesus is headed to the cross and the tomb. Really, the Messiah is dead? That is not good way to end. But the resurrection happens for a fresh start. We pick up the story in Acts 1:6-11 as they end up on the Mount of Olives. Having a chat with Jesus and suddenly the focus shifts from the mundane and normal to “now when he had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel who also said: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you shall so come again in like manner as you have seen him go.”
The verses following tell us they went back to the upper room where they were staying and waited together. But the idea of these guys standing on the mount and gazing up into the sky watching Jesus going with that look of ‘I cannot believe this!’ written all over their faces and then the angel guys show up and have to remind them to change their focus, Jesus is coming back.
In the book of Revelation 19:11-16 there is a description of Jesus’ return: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True,… His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns;… and his name is called The Word of God… And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”
This is what we look forward to as Christians when we look at the events of that Ascension day. As our world seems hard and harsh, it is that hope of resurrection and the Ascension reminding us that there is not just these past events but ones in the future promised to us. If we are not paying attention we focus on His leaving us and not on the coming again part of the journey.
Awaiting the future, Rev. Jon Bergen