Today is the feast of the Ascension

Thusday Reflection

Week 6 - 21 May 2020

Thursday Reflection Ascension. 'I will be with you always.'
Today is the feast of the Ascension.
Jesus said,

'I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.' (Matt. 28:20)

Jesus must be the only person who celebrated his own departure from the earth,
saying it was good for all who loved him (Jn 16:7).
In normal circumstances a loss such as this would be devastating for those left behind.
Jesus is the only person who ever predicted a positive outcome to a very negative situation.

During his earthly ministry, Jesus was subject to human limitations of time and space, he could only be in one place at a time;
his disciples relied on his physical presence. But when Jesus ascended,
he was able to send his Spirit into their, and our, lives so that they, and we, may enjoy his presence everywhere at all times.

'I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.'

What an amazing promise, we never have to lose the presence of Jesus in our lives.
Jesus always keeps his word; he is utterly committed to being with us 'to the very end'.
He doesn't give up on us half way through - he is wholeheartedly for us, sticking by us to the very end;
to the very end of our illness, the very end of our working career, the very end of our tether, the very end of our lives.
He is there. What a comfort that is in these times of uncertainty and anxiety.

God chooses to pursue his relationship with us; he will never let that relationship lapse.
The closeness of Jesus' presence which he established after his ascension is something that he plans to bring to fulfilment
when he comes back the second time. He said;

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (Jn 14:3}

Jesus' ascension looks forward to the second coming.

The angels said to the disciples after Jesus ascended:

"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky?
This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
(Acts 1:11)

Jesus left this earth after his work was finished; but a day will come when he will return in triumph.
The first time he came to earth, he left all the glory behind; when he comes again, he will come in glory.
The first time he came in obscurity; next time he comes everyone will know him.
The first time he left us behind to work for him; next time he will come back for us because our work with have been completed.
Then we will be in the presence of God forever.

'I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.'

`Those words, spoken to the disciples so long ago, are meant for us too.
God is there to bring us beyond our doubts, fears and disappointments,
and beyond our own comfort zone so that we may share his good news with a world that desperately needs it.
That is what being a follower of Jesus is all about.