DH Update 25, Wednesday Jesus ascendingWed. May 17, 2023

Wednesday Meditation (Acts 1:11)

They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

We were, are, and will always be the Easter people or people of the resurrection. What does it mean to be the people of Christ living after passion, death, resurrection and ascension, calling ourselves as part of new people? Certainly we live with faith, hope and love. We do the best to share with the world who we are. After all, we are here to share what we have with the world vigorously and vibrantly, being the source of life to all.

After Jesus was resurrected, we saw timid disciples who were hanging onto Jesus. There sign that they truly understood or were ignited by Jesus’ resurrection. Women talked to them excitedly. Somehow though, we could not muster enough experience to say his male disciples were excited and were bursting with joy and courage. Rather, the only images we find of post resurrection disciples were huddled in fear, hardly breaking out even when Jesus came and went. Here in the scene of ascension, the picture of the disciples looking up to heaven after Jesus depicts the disciples who were still in shock due to the trauma of Jesus’ death on the cross. They were not the example of joyful and life filled ones who witnessed the life changing event. They were the group of the lost looking up only to see Jesus disappear once again from them.

This is why the question is so perceptively pertinent, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven?” Why did they look so sad?

As the resurrection people, we inherited the good news that Jesus gave us a new life. It is the life where the power of death is no more. Fear, anxiety and worry are not dominant or determining factors in our lives. It is life where, in faith, we constantly experience renewal of life, welcoming of eternal into the present, and witness sustaining of all life through love because we as the body of Christ continually lay down our lives even for our enemies. It is not the life where our eyes are fixed or fixated on the rear side of Jesus who is disappearing from us. In this new reality of resurrection and ascension life, we return to life to participate in Christ's mission that gives life to this world.

Remember what happened at the transfiguration? Peter, James and John wanted to honour the moment by building something to remember. Jesus, on the other hand, was busy going down the hill to bring the good news of God to the world. What are we called to do?

Our world is filled with news of doom and gloom. We call it, “being realistic.” We survey, take stock of what we have, and minimize any dangers with good planning. We say that we are doing due diligence. We try to figure a way to make sure that we can hold onto our lives as best as we can. This way of living works well until it doesn’t. It fills us with fear because the future becomes dark and mysterious. We can only see the inevitable (death). Yes, this is what we do and how we think when we are part of this world.

As the resurrection people, however, we have begun living in eternal life. We confess through the words of Living Faith that eternal life began for us at our baptism. Instead of planning, we live in faith. Instead of worrying about our future, we live in hope. Insead of dying, we live a life of love. Yes, it means we trust God to lead us in all circumstances by discerning God’s welcome for us, we claim the realized promise every moment, and in gratitude love one another by serving as Christ served us. As people in our world say, we do not know what will happen tomorrow. However, unlike our non-Christian neighbours, we constantly search, discern and anticipate Christ’s presence with us each step of the way. As we sing in one of our old hymns, we live “simply trusting every day.”

Challenges of Being Ever New

How do others know we are Christians? This is the challenge we face each and every day. It is very hard when our limits are no longer enough for those who come asking for help. It is devastating when those who are hungry come with insatiable demand accusing us of not being Christ-like. It is life draining when we see our gift of love is trampled upon as useless or insufficient trash. Yet, it is important to remember that the stone that was rejected became the cornerstone.

Christ’s way of recreating this world ever new is not by doing something spectacular and demonstrating to the world power and might, but by simple acts of love that nourishes dying life so that death might be defeated. Love of Christ is often seen as inadequate and immaterial to this world. It is the smallest seed, but like a mustard seed, smallest it may be, but it grows to become shelters to animals where life flourishes.

Mother’s Day

Big thanks to all those who made Mother’s Day so special last Sunday. Thank you for all those who prepared and served food as well as doing the massive clean-up afterward.

Cinnamon Bun Tuesdays

We will be re-starting the Cinnamon Bun Tuesdays on Tuesday (of course) May 23 at 10 am. Please mark your calendars. Let others know. Come and join us.