EXPLORING THE BIBLE
Today we celebrate the Ascension and the Holy Trinity. This lesson does not speak of the Lord’s ascension but it gives clues to its significance – the great commission to make disciples of all nations and its relationship to the Trinity.
Whilst this is a very specific incident, it made me think of my friend back in Hobart, and how often the ‘spirit’ of one person can rub off on another, for good, or ill. It made me ask the questions, “What impression do I make on others? What is it of my spirit that rubs off on other people? Is it something positive or something negative?”
The last words Jesus spoke before he was lifted up into the clouds (Acts 1:9) included a call to mission: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” There was no time for Jesus’ disciples to stand gazing into the sky. They had work to do. So do we. And we have the Holy Spirit to help us, as Jesus promised.
He claimed that people were desperately seeking some kind of meaning or transcendence in all kinds of places, and that the challenge for the church was not to try to interest people in spiritual things, but rather to show why what we have to offer is better than anything else in the massive smorgasbord of spiritual options available.
In this week’s gospel reading, Jesus promises his disciples (and us!) a place to belong: ‘In my father’s house there are many dwelling-places… and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.’
“…..What may be missing, too often, is not the teaching and learning, the fellowship, communion, or prayer: it may be the awe. The ‘wonders and signs’ may be passing us by, without our taking notice.”