When Jesus had said this, as they were watching,he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. Acts 1:9
We live in such strange days. While the restrictions of Stay at Home have been lifted, we are still struggling to live together as safely as possible. There are small groups of workers coming through the church to prepare and distribute back packs for kids. Others come to fill out the deposits and record your gifts to the church. Next week a group will gather to assemble the June Newsletter. Still, I miss the interactions of Sundays. I miss the chance to catch up or hear a funny story.
I’m sure that the disciples missed Jesus after his ascension. The glorious gift of forty days of meals and teaching after the resurrection must have dimmed a bit as Thomas and Bartholomew, James and Andrew watched Jesus disappear from view. We know that even greater things were about to happen, but for the followers of Jesus, the ascension must have been a stark ending.
Luke reminds us that Jesus told his followers: “Stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Maybe that’s our instruction, too! Stay. Stay connected. Stay in prayer. Stay near the Scripture.
A parishioner told me this week that she is phoning three different people every day. She knows that before March, she would have bumped into different people at the gym, the grocery store, and, of course, at church. The disciples obeyed Jesus by staying in contact, by keeping the communication going.I hope that you will stay close to your parish community. We need each other, perhaps even more now that we cannot shake hands or hug or sit down to a meal together. By staying in touch we will be ready to move as the next opportunities come along.And God will provide. Pentecost is coming. The Holy Spirit will bring strength and joy. So stay. Stay in touch. Stay open to what God has in store for us.
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.