Feast of the Ascension
Why are you standing here looking up into the heavens?
This question could easily be addressed to us. For those who claim to follow Jesus, belief should be visible in lifestyle and action. In prayer and reflection the eyes of faith see the hope and scope of Christ’s power. Yet, his directive was, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 15-16) We cannot stand looking up into the heavens waiting for solutions to the problems of our time. Instead we continue the mission of Jesus as his disciples and spread his word by our personal living and our actions of love, justice and peace.
Send us your Spirit, O Lord.
I will find concrete ways to transform my faith into action.
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes down on you; then you are to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, yes, even to the ends of the earth. No sooner had he said this than he was lifted up in a cloud which took him from their sight. They were still gazing up into the heavens when two men dressed in white stood beside them “Men of Galilee”, they said,” Why are you standing here looking up into the heavens? This Jesus who has been taken from you will return, just as you saw him go up into the heavens.”
Acts 1:1 -11
Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers and sisters, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.
Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.
Jesus is no longer restricted or confined to time and space, as he was during his historical lifetime. Rather, like the God whom he knew in his own experience, he continues to be known in the experience of his followers.
We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war;
For we know that You have made the world in a way that people must find their own path to peace within themselves and with their neighbors.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation;
For You have already given us the resources with which to feed the entire world, if we would only use them wisely.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to root out prejudice;
For You have already given us eyes with which to see the good in all people, if we would only use them rightly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair;
For You have already given us the power to clear away slums and to give hope, if we would only use our power justly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease;
For You have already given us great minds with which to search out cures and healing, if we would only use them constructively.
Therefore we pray to You instead, O God, for strength, determination and will power,
To do instead of just pray,
To become instead of merely to wish.
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.
We cannot be tepid disciples. The Church needs our courage in order to give witness to truth.
To be a witness for God is to be a living sign of God’s presence in the world.
Discipleship isn’t something you learn just by studying it; at some point you have to do it.
Kenda Creasy Dean