The Ascension is an event recorded three times in the New Testament: at the end of Luke, the beginning of Acts, and here, in what’s called the longer ending of Mark. (Early manuscripts recorded several different endings to his gospel.) In each version of the Ascension story, Jesus has different final instructions for the disciples – the ones in ‘longer Mark’ being the most colourful. But in every account we have, Jesus tells the disciples to go and be witnesses of the gospel they have received. On this point, all three speak in one voice. It would seem this mission is non-negotiable.
How we do this is up to us. If you want to knock on doors or preach in the park, suit yourself. If you feel drawn to the foreign missions, the prayer of the church will support you. Maybe the least missioned corner of the world is right where you are. Do you have good news to share?
When you show up, is it ‘good news’ for those around you? How do you demonstrate the gift of faith that’s been given to you? Allow someone’s testimony of faith to speak into your life: read a biography of a holy person. Allow your testimony to speak to someone else. Practice the virtues of faith, hope, and charity until they become the ‘new normal’ for you.
The Scripture (Matthew 28:20) Jesus Appears to His Disciples
Jesus addressed them in these words: ‘… Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, even until the end of the world!’
With these words, Jesus is speaking to all of us everywhere. As followers of Christ we have responded to Jesus’ call to teach others in his name. With such great reassurance, we are told that we are not alone. Christ is always with us, no matter how hard at times it is to live out the Gospel. Though he is not here in bodily form, he is here with us in the Spirit and his grace is constantly poured out on us in the sacraments and in prayer.
As we go about our life we give glory to you, O God.
Glory for your presence in creation, glory for your inspiration in the chores of each day, glory for your spirit among our friends, glory for your voice heard in the family, glory for your call to help the nameless ones, glory for our Christian heritage.
Keep us ever thankful.
Keep us ever joyful!
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