May 29, 2019
This Thursday (May 30) is a lesser known but important holiday in the calendar of the Church:Ascension Day. Forty days after Easter and ten days before Pentecost, Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:3-11). Now, in the words of Ephesians 1, Jesus is seated at God the Father's "right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come" (vv. 20-21). For Paul, this had direct implications for how we pray: We pray with hope and confidence that God's power can overcome any earthly obstacle. Whether we face illness, family trouble, addiction, or other battles, one message of the Ascension is that God's power is stronger and his authority greater than any earthly challenge.
Not only is God's power greater, but the same power that raised Christ from the dead and with which he reigns from heaven is now "at work within us" (Eph. 3:20). Jesus is the "head over all things for the Church, which is his body" (Eph. 1:22-23). This means that when we pray for God to show his power, he might just do so through us, through the human beings who comprise the Body of Christ on earth. No matter how small or weak you may feel, if you belong to Christ, you are now part of his Body and the power of the ascended Lord of heaven and earth dwells within you. With confidence in his power and trust in his guidance, let us then pray for our needs and the needs of the world around us.
Grace and Peace,