What is today?
If you answered May 21, 2020 you’re not wrong, but I’m looking for another answer.
Today is Ascension Day. Christians around the world are celebrating Christ’s ascension to the righthand of God the Father. If you’ve never celebrated (or even heard of) this Christian holiday, don’t feel too bad. Until recent years, my upbringing limited my knowledge of Christian holidays (or dare I say Holy Days) to Christmas and Easter. However, through using the Revised Common Lectionary for devotions and even more recent praying the Daily Office from the Book of Common Prayer (2019), I appreciate the rhythms of worship found in the liturgical calendar.
[If the terms like lectionary, Daily Office, and Book of Common Prayer (2019) are odd to you, I’ve included some links below for clarity. They’re not for everyone, but I love the structure they give to my worship.]
As I was reading Acts 1:1-14 in morning prayers, this passage highlights the story of Jesus’ post-resurrection teaching ministry. Although we’re given few details, one question the disciples ask is of importance. The Bible states, “So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time’” (Acts 1:6, CSB). The disciples wanted to know when God would rectify all wrongs. Have you ever wondered about this? If so, I’m with you.
However, Jesus’ answer to the disciples on that first Ascension Day applies for us today. Jesus answered them saying, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority” (Acts 1:7b, CSB). We must trust in God’s sovereignty.
However, this passage doesn’t leave us without hope. The Bible records the angelic message to those first disciples in verse 11, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen him going into heaven” (Acts 1:11, CSB). The hope is two-fold in this passage. First, Christ has passed into the heavens and is praying for us at this very moment (see Hebrews 4:14-16). I don’t know about you, but knowing Christ has my name on his lips in prayer makes me have hope. Second, this verse gives us the promise of Christ’s return. O’ what a glorious reunion that will be!
So today is Ascension Day. Therefore, I will focus on these two truths from Scripture: 1) Christ is praying for us now, 2) Christ is coming for us soon.
What about you? Are you ready to see Christ coming in the clouds?