Ascension Day -13th May 2021
Welcome to our Ascension day reflection.
Acts 1:1-11 nrsv 1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying[a] with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
and also from
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah[a] is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses[b] of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” The Ascension of Jesus 50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.[c] 52 And they worshiped him, and[d] returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.[e]
This poem was given to me just at the beginning of the Easter Season to share today, Ascension Day on the blog.
Goodbye Jo Love
He didn't actually say "goodbye."
He didn't say "I am going now. I am leaving you."
He didn't ask if we were ready
He didn't tell us, "This is it.You won't see me again."
He didn't even try to reassure us with,
"Everything is going to be all right."
For once. he didn't tell us not to worry, not to be afraid;
he didn't pull us up for having such little faith.
"Stay in the city. Wait for the Spirit."
That was it. "Stay and wait.
Did he know how hard it would be to do that?
How hard it is to trsut we're in the right place,
we need to stick together,
and what we've been promised will come.
There we were, full of our own agendas as usual,
thinking this was his time to overthrow the Romans.
And he shot right back at us -
no, you don't get to know the times!
How can he trust us to stay, to wait,
when we still have such half -baked ideas
about what he's all about and what he wants from us?
"You will receive power. You will be my witnesses."
His final words.
What kind of power will it be? Will it be obvious? Will it change us?
Something will have to change
before any of us go witnessing in Samaria,
that's for sure!
But so much has already changed.
goodbye to the sound of your laughter
and the look of mischief in your eyes.
Goodbye to being able to prod you
and nudge you,
and just sit with you,
by the boats and under the stars and round the table.
Goodbye to watching how you do things.
Goodbye to all our clumsiness being covered by your charisma.
We can't hide behind you any more.
It's over to us now, isn't it?
And the only way you could stay, is by leaving.
And the only way you could always be here, is by going away.
It's not really goodbye, Lord, is it?
Can we trust you on that?
You are free, Lord,
your Ascension has set you free:
free from the constraints of human existence,
outside the limitations of time and space;
free to be here with us now,
in our worship and fellowship;
and free to be with us always;
for in your freedom
you have bound yourself to us with a promise:
“Lo! I am with you always
even to the very end of time.”
We pray, Lord, for those
who need to feel you close,
who need the assurance of your love,
the encouragement of your Spirit.
We pray for those who are persecuted,
who are discriminated against,
who are mocked because of their faith or race or colour.
We pray for those who are imprisoned,
who are tortured,
who are exiled,
because they have fought, struggled and spoken out
for the rights of their people.
We pray for those who are destitute,
who are hungry,
who are refugees,
because of the selfishness and apathy of the world.
We pray for those who are feeling fed up,
who are in discomfort,
who are afraid,
because they are ill in body, mind or spirit.
We pray for those who are numbed,
who are angry,
who are desolate,
because they have been bereaved.
We pray for those caught up in war,
especially the innocent victims of these evils.
We pray at this time of financial turmoil,
for those who have lost jobs,
those who struggle to pay bills,
Be with us all, Lord:
in all our daily struggles as we seek to follow you.
Be with us all, Lord:
in our periods of doubt and despair;
and in our times of happiness, health and loving.
Be with us all, Lord:
until that time
when in your in your Kingdom of Love
our joy will know no end: AMEN
The Lord be with you
And also with you.
The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and ever more. AMEN
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Ewch mewn tangnefedd i garu a gwasanaethu'r Arglwydd. Alleluia! Alleluia!