Devotion: Monday, May 27, 2019

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is from Acts 1:7-11 where Jesus says to the disciples,   

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “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.”


I want to do something different today. Instead of focusing on one of the lessons that was used in many Sunday services yesterday, I’m going to speak to you about a reading that will be heard in some churches THIS THURSDAY. Yes, Thursday. This is a special service that is still celebrated in many Christian Churches around the world. It’s the Feast of Jesus’ Ascension. It is a day where people who believe in Jesus celebrate the fact that Jesus, the One who lived, died, and rose again from the dead, also ascended into heaven and took His proper role at the right hand of God the Father, the position of power over the universe. Yes, the crucified One is the One who is coming again to judge both the living and the dead. Why? Because He is the One who lived and died for all so that all might live in Him.

That’s all part of the ascension proclamation. But there’s more! And this should be an even greater wonder. Jesus “went away” as it were, so that you and I could be even more blessed. What? Yes, that’s what I said. Actually, it’s what Jesus Himself said. In John 16:7 he says, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” Ephesians 4:8 says that Jesus ascended so that He could pour out His gifts to people. So, not only is Jesus’ ascension a declaration of the power and the position of Jesus over all things, His ascension is also a wonderful declaration that the ascended Jesus has indeed unleashed the Holy Spirit as His comforting, advocating gift to us. He has empowered us with His word to bless and to share with others. He has not left us powerless; instead, due to the presence of the Holy Spirit, we are more powerful than ever before because the Jesus who walked this earth, who died on the cross, and rose again, who now reigns in ascended power, can be with us in ways that are even closer than a brother.

Ascension….It’s not just an event in history that leaves us praising Jesus in awesome wonder. It’s a day to reflect on the fact that even the Ascension is something that Jesus did FOR US TOO. He ascended so that we could be empowered by His enduring presence, empowered by His gift of the Holy Spirit, empowered to wield His word in all its fullness to others so that they might be blessed by Him too. Ascension, empowerment, and living life to its fullest in Christ! Let the Thursday celebration begin.