Saturday, May 9, 2015

May 17, 2015

Breaking Open the Scripture Scripture for May 17th: Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53: theme: Ascension Sunday ; Song: Up From the Grave He Arose UMH 322 Acts: This book chronicles the early church and how it grew and survived. It tracks the steps of the risen Christ in the lives of his followers. An important point in the journey was the day that he returned to heaven. This is one of the few non Sunday observances that John Wesley thought important enough to keep in his church calendar. I love that at the end of today’s scripture, angels ask why are you looking up in the sky for Jesus? Jesus is inside of our hearts, most importantly, Jesus is out and about in the world. Jesus promises us the power of the Holy Spirit. So we can start to expect it in our lives. If Jesus is in heaven now, it is up to us to embody the presence of Christ in the world. Luke: This is the story of the Ascension, as Jesus brings his disciples out to the beach and he gives them instructions and then goes up to heaven. Once again he tells us to wait for the presence of the holy spirit, and then first repent yourself, and second preach the power of repentance and forgiveness to the world. You don’t need to worry about traveling, change the world right where you are! There is a reason that we are in the place that we are in. We have work to do, and we have a message to give to others. Jesus is not going to do that work, he went to heaven. He left it to us to do. The scripture says that the followers has a deep sense of joy for having Jesus with them. They continually rejoiced in the temple – spreading the word, and living it brings joy and appreciation. The spirit of Jesus is with us when we are spreading his message! Questions: do you think the ascension of Jesus really happened or is it just an informative story? Where is heaven? Is it up in the sky or in our hearts? What are you doing in preparation for the Holy Spirit? Do you get a sense of joy from telling the story of Jesus to others?

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