Gazing at the Heavens – The Ascension of Christ
4 weeks ago news sources were trumpeting the alarm that a massive Chinese rocket would fall uncontrollably somewhere on earth. Fortunately, it fell harmlessly somewhere in the Indian Ocean after it mostly burned up in the atmosphere. However, it did highlight the other 9,300 tons of space junk floating around and if that doesn’t warn your “chicken little, the sky is falling” worries, I read we are planning to launch about 45,000 more satellites into low orbits the next couple of years. It’s enough to keep one gazing skyward.
What keeps you looking up? Many read horoscopes to see if the stars can predict our futures. In fact sociologist Reginald Bibby says the number of people who check their horoscopes daily outnumbers the people who read their Bible daily by two to one.
This Sunday we will invite you to gaze to the heavens (hopefully we can meet outside) as we study the ascension of Christ (read Acts 1:1-11). This marks the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the beginning of the disciple’s ministry. They ask Jesus if this will be the time He will restore the kingdom of Israel. Jesus responds by only telling them (and us), that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes and we shall be his witnesses.
The real power is from on high, but not in our horoscopes or even just gawking at the heavens. This power is from the One who moves the stars and now calls us to witness here on earth.
As Jesus is launched into heaven, the church is planted on earth and the urgency of our mission is made clear. However, Jesus doesn’t just tell us to be witnesses, he empowers us.
Sunday we will prepare to relaunch our church into this reality and ask for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit’s power. There’s a lot of “junk” floating around today so we need to stay focused on Christ.
Come and see, the countdown is on: 10, 9, 8,…