YOU AND I- AND THE ANGELS OF ASCENSION
Meditation for the New Year
As the year comes to a close, we have one more angel story to revisit. This story is one for us to carry with us into the new year ahead. Resurrected Jesus has spent time with his disciples, and now he is about to ascend into heaven. But he blesses them with his parting words, as he tells them what they will be able to do with the power of his Holy Spirit.
Light the Prophecy, Bethlehem, Shepherd, Angel and Christ Candles.
Acts 1:6-11 (NRSV)
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 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.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 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.”
As Jesus is describes the expanding witness of his disciples, he promises them that they will do so with the power of the Holy Spirit, taking their witness even to the ends of the earth. We see now how the love of Christ has reached so many people all over the world!
But we still have work to do. And so I love the Angels of the Ascension, the two men in white robes who appear as Jesus ascends. They ask, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven?” It is as if they are saying, “Don’t just stand there, you have work to do!” Jesus has already told them that there is no sense in wondering about the future- the future is in God’s hands. They simply need to be about their mission.
We need not look to the heavens. By the power of the Spirit, Jesus is here with us. We need not worry about the future. God lovingly holds that. We simply need to share the love of Christ with everyone, especially those who do not yet know they are treasured children of God. “Don’t just stand there, we have work to do!”
How will we serve as Presences of Peace in 2020?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, come. Enter into our hearts, enter into our new year, and let us gladly share your love, your love that extends to everyone, to the ends of the earth. Amen.