May 10, 2018

Ascension of the Lord

May 10, 2018



Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47
Psalm 93
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53
This weekend’s reading: Psalm 139


Today is Ascension Day, a feast day which is celebrated 40 days after Easter.  

“The ascension of Jesus is one of the accepted doctrines of Christianity. The Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed all confess that Christ ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father.” [The Thought Company]

Below are some verses from Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:1-11 with some interspersed ponderings.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Jesus continued his ministry with the disciples after the Resurrection. In Acts 1 Luke writes “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” 

  • Imagine that you are one of the disciples…you see the wounds [not yet scars] on his hands and feet.  You try to understand what has and is happening.  What are you thinking and feeling?

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Jesus is giving some final instructions.  He has said several times that he will be leaving.  If I am a disciple I might be thinking…’Wait, I thought the crucifixion and resurrection was the leaving, but he is still here.  I did already witness something pretty amazing. Where is he going now? I am beginning to get an idea from the way I hear him speak and quote scripture. And I am feeling really nervous.’ 

  • What process might having ‘your mind opened to scripture’ begin?  What do you ask Jesus to gain better understanding?  What do you ask the other disciples? Jesus has already sent you out to preach and heal. What do you make of baptizing with the Holy Spirit?

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

  • As a disciple, what is your experience of the ascension? How is this connected to the Resurrection? Is this the climax of Jesus’ ministry?
  • Or is there more to the story?


  • Respond to the parts of the devotional highlighted in bold.


  • Who will carry the story and message of Jesus now that he is gone?

Dear One, you have become incarnate in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. We embraced you in your human infancy, followed you to the cross, and accepted your divinity within ourselves. Grant us open hearts, minds and spirits that receive your desires and commands and obey. Amen.