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Loss and empowerment in the Ascension

While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God. Luke 24:51-53


Dear Friends in Christ,

 

Today is the Feast of the Ascension. We remember how Jesus, risen from the dead, gathered with his disciples outside Jerusalem, said goodbye to them and reminded them of the promise of the Holy Spirit, which they were to receive at Pentecost. Come join us for Evening Prayer tonight at 7:00 as we mark this feast of the church.

 

The Ascension is an occasion of loss and empowerment. On the one hand, the disciples are losing the presence of Jesus, just when he had risen from the dead and come to them. On the other hand, they had this promise of God’s presence to abide with them always when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. In our human experience, we will always encounter change and loss and challenges. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, however, we face these challenges with the presence and power of God with us. I’m not saying everything is always easy. But I am saying that God’s power is far greater than anything we face—even loss and mortality.

 

The disciples returned to Jerusalem with joy, and when they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they went into the world to share that joy to all the ends of the earth—even to Cobb County! Where in your life do you face challenge and loss? Where is God present in the midst of that challenge and loss? How is God empowering you even now to thrive in his strength?

 

May the risen and ascended Lord grant you an increase of his Holy Spirit now and in the days to come.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

-Tom

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