Prayer: Lord God, let your Word move my heart to serve you more, in Christ. Amen.
Lord of heaven and earth
9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
We have been taught from birth that heaven us UP! And Hell is DOWN! So when we think of heaven we think to look up. God is beyond the clouds and among the stars. His voice comes from on high from a Holy Jerusalem in the sky with streets of gold. When Jesus left His disciples, He ascended to the heavens and left them staring up in the sky. So, we think of God is beyond our vision, and different, and not like us.
This is good news and bad news. Our devotion writer says; “Such transcendence is good news for us, because it is lif-giving to feel embraced by the majesty, holiness, and affection of God. But the even-better news is that God is also immanent, among us, and we are make in God’s perfect image. So let’s not only look “up,” but also around and within. God walks with us on the journey of life. By God’s Spirit we sense God’s presence each time our minds are opened to see God’s activity in the world, our hearts are touched by God’s goodness and grace, and our hands and voices are moved to respond with compassion and justice.”
Prayer: “Walk my path with me, O God, before and alongside me, above and within me, through Christ. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Ascension of Jesus
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But 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.” 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 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.”
Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.