May 21, 2020
"Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you'" (Matthew 28:18-20). Today is the Church holiday known as Ascension Day. Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus instructed his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit and then he ascended into heaven. We speak often about why Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection matter for our salvation, but we have a harder time articulating the significance of the Jesus' ascension. As a relative said in a joke to me this morning, "This is the day Jesus started to work from home." But is there more to it than that?
When Jesus says "all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me," Jesus suggests that with his ascension, his rule over all creation becomes complete. While on earth, Jesus demonstrated his authority through his presence and ministry, but now, as he reigns from heaven, his authority can spread throughout all creation. Now, instead of being limited to one physical place, Jesus is present through the Holy Spirit anywhere his followers are. Hence the Church becomes his Body on earth. This is good news for us today because it means first that Jesus is with us always, whether we are staying safe at home or venturing out in the world. With Christ beside us, then, let us look for ways to proclaim his reign and make new disciples both near and far.
Grace and Peace,