by GREGG JENNINGS
We end this journal and season with the reminder that it is the Ascension of Christ that gives the church our greatest promise of future restoration. Sure, the cross washes over all our sin and the resurrection radically subverts death itself. However, it is the Ascension that this atoning, rising, Jesus the Messiah is reigning and ruling over the kingdoms and systems of this earth. We have walked through another Lent only to be invited to the same question, “Will you give this Jesus your total allegiance?”
Faith comes with action and the action that is given in this passage of Acts is that the disciples would stop staring into the air and get to work in the soil. It’s fascinating that this work begins by waiting (Sabbath) for the Holy Spirit to overpower them, much like the Spirit overpowered Mary at the beginning of Luke’s account. The words of Jesus to his disciples and to us are this, “You will be my witnesses.” Translated best, “you are going to be my martyrs.” You will die not with the sash of the Temple around your chest or with the flag of Rome in your hand. You will die with forgiveness on your lips and love in your heart for a world that is being made new.
As you walk into ordinary time this year, consider your witness, consider Jesus ruling and reigning, and consider what absolute allegiance to him looks like. Christ has died: Crucifixion. Christ has risen: Resurrection. Christ will come again: Ascension. To the glory of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Now Go into the world armed with nothing but faith, hospitality, and love!