Ascension of Our Lord, Year B

Inspired by Acts 1:1-11

“‘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.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 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.’” Acts 1:8-11 (NRSV)

We wait expectantly for the return of our Lord. But while we wait, we have work to do.

Jesus’ last words to his disciples before he ascended into heaven were that they were to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. And he didn’t mean that in a passive sense. Jesus had no sooner ascended when two heavenly beings appeared and chided the disciples into action. “Don’t just stand here looking up at heaven,” they said. “Get to work! Go, be his witnesses, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world!”

When we gather together for worship, it is so we can be fed, nourished, and sustained for our work in the world. We are not called to occasionally get together so we can look up to heaven and be comforted; the Holy Spirit has come upon us, and we are called to bring the comfort of the good news of Jesus Christ to all the world.

Let us pray. Living God, your Spirit is with us. Wake us from our daydreaming about the world to come and inspire us to proclaim your good news to the world, that we may all experience your comfort here and now. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.