Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ascension Day

Luke 24:44-53  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."  Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,  and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  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."  Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them.   While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.  And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;  and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

“He withdrew from them”. What a scary idea – that Jesus had withdrawn! The disciples had grown used to having Jesus around. They had spent three years learning from him... and now he is gone! But I suspect that this is exactly how it should be. They needed to learn to stand on their own feet. While their teacher was there, they could so easily step back to let him be the leader. Now they had nobody to fall back on. It was up to them.

This is one of the important lessons of life for us all. We have times of learning, followed by times of putting that learning into practice. I think of the Deacons of the Methodist Church of Great Britain. They have spent the past few days learning from each other. This afternoon they pack their bags and return to their mission appointments.  It is time to practice the things they have learned.

Perhaps you are one who needs to move from learning to practicing?


Pray For:
Steven Sowerby (Central Norfolk); Maureen Spinks (North Fylde); Janet Stafford (Sheffield North) Marian Stanley (Chorley & Leyland)


Readings taken from the lectionary in the Prayer Book of the British Methodist Diaconal Order


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