“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”
Monday, 17 May 2021
I think we often have a very literal and naive idea of the Ascension. We may focus on the image of Jesus in white robes being taken up into the clouds. As a child, I imagined it to be something like the “Beam me up, Scotty” of the Star Trek movies. But it is far from a simple disappearance of Jesus into the clouds. It is a pivotal moment for the followers of Jesus. It is letting go of one limited way of being and relating to allow for something even more amazing to happen.
For the past 50 days, the disciples have experienced the risen Jesus as he appeared to them and helped them understand, through their encounters with him that he is alive, consoling and strengthening them with the gift of his peace. The disciples may have longed for this to continue, but there needed to be a transition to a new reality of living in the Spirit of the Risen Christ.
The Spirit empowers us to live out Christ’s presence in the world. No longer are the followers and friends of Jesus simply following and being mentored by their teacher. Each one must now embody in his or her way God’s presence in the world.
And, in fact, Jesus is even more accessible in the sense that his presence, in and through the Spirit, permeates throughout all of creation. Access is no longer constrained by time or place. But now, there is waiting for what has been promised: the power of the Holy Spirit.
How can we intentionally open ourselves these days, asking for an ever-deepened experience of the Holy Spirit?