Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 16, 1020

Scriptures for May 13th – Ascension Sunday – Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47,
Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53
Songs: All Hail the Power of Jesus Name UMH 155; You Alone are Holy – TFWS 2077; Lord I Lift your Name on High – TFWS 2088

Acts: In many ways, the scriptures is a continuation of the Easter readings, we still hear the story of the Holy Spirit and the work that it does. But in other ways this Sunday marks a new period. Jesus has been appearing to the disciples all throughout the Easter season. This is Jesus’ final appearance. But the disciples still don’t understand why – is he coming to bring about the Kingdom of Israel? Jesus tells them that the kingdom of God is much bigger than that. God’s kingdom is for everyone – everyone in the whole world. And the work of the spirit is to empower us to reach out to everyone, no matter who they are, and where they are.

Luke Acts is a retelling of the events of Luke. Jesus has been on the earth for 40 days after the death event. He has been teaching his disciples. This is the final teaching, it is time for him to ascend into heaven. He tells his disciples the good news that must be spread out throughout the whole world - teach the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus Christ. This is the key to our salvation. All we have to do to help others understand what it means to repent is to tell our stories – stories of how we have seen Jesus in our lives, stories of how we have been forgiven, stories of how the Holy Spirit is still in the world 2000 years later, still making a difference.

Questions: How do we focus on what is going on right in our lives, and not look up to heaven expecting a miracle? Why is the message of forgiveness so hard for us to hear? How does our church witness to the risen Christ? Where have you personally seen proof of the risen Christ? How does Jesus bless us to spread the gospel? Why is the Ascension important to our faith?

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