May 25, 2017, the Ascension of the Lord

Reading 1 Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day He was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom He had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after He had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
Heenjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard Me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked Him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by His Own Authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When He had said this, as they were looking on,
He was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as He was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus Who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen Him going into heaven.”

Jesus told the Apostles that it is not for them to know the times or seasons the Father established.  This goes for us as well.  How often do we question God and want to know what and when things are going to happen.  We must know and trust God that even though events are not always revealed to us, He is working it all together for our good.  The Apostles were going to be Jesus’ witnesses all over to the ends of the earth. We need to be mirrors of Christ all over to all people, too.  We need to cover all the ends and expose parts of darkness that need the light.  All parts of the world thirst for Jesus, whether it is because they have heard so little about Him or because they reject Him but need to rehear His Message.

Jesus is retuning to us, and we have to remember we are never alone.  He left earth but gave us the Holy Spirit.  If there is ever distance between us and God, it is because of us.  He goes out of His way to make sure His Presence is in this world is near, and we just have to be open.  It is comforting to know Jesus is coming back for us because we have not been abandoned and are constantly being thought of.

Reading 2 Eph 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of Him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to His Call,
what are the riches of glory
in His inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of His Power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of His great Might,
which He worked in Christ,
raising Him from the dead
and seating Him at His right Hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And He put all things beneath His Feet
and gave Him as Head over all things to the church,
which is His Body,
the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.

I need a Spirit of wisdom and revelation.  I want to be smart, make good decisions, and see God in this world.  Knowledge of Him is all of our lives’ goals.  Knowing Him and making Him known is more important than any degree, career, spouse, title, raise, etc.  Knowing Him more makes life easier and gives us guidance and direction on where to go and what to do.   Having the eyes of my heart enlightened would mean that I get to remove everything that clouds me from fully seeing God when He is right in front of my face.  There is hope in His call to us and meaning behind what He is telling us to do.  We are promised an inheritance and to know His Power and Might.  Facing the Creator’s Power and Might seems overwhelming but at the same time thrilling and awe-inspiring.  That same Power that raised Jesus from the dead is the Power within us, fills us, and keeps us alive.

Gospel Mt 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw Him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” 

We need to worship whole-heartedly and never doubt during.  We need to let go of anything that holds us back from fully giving ourselves to Him in worship.  Only after being fully open to the Lord can we go and bring people to Him.  This is a command.  We have the responsibility to teach people all Jesus’ teachings.  Our lives belong to Him, and we have to give back to Him what He gave to us.  He cares so much about us that after giving us this task, He reminds us that He is always with us no matter what until the end of time.

 

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