by Pastor James Fritsche
We have been following the journey of Jesus through the days of His passion (the Via Dolorosa) and in the days following His resurrection and His return journey to heaven (the Ascension). The day of Pentecost ushers in a new journey as God the Holy Spirit arrives to fill the Apostles with courage to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world, beginning in Jerusalem. What a day! What a proclamation! Christ is risen from the grave and the call to repentance and the granting of forgiveness of sins is now for all people. The Apostles will go out into all the world to bring this good news to people of every nation. Their journey began in Jerusalem and continued through Judea and Samaria and then to the ends of the earth. Christianity is a journey not aimed at one country or nation. It is not the exclusive religion of one ethnic group. Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and Satan is for all mankind! By God’s grace, we, too, have been called to participate in the journey of Christ’s people. Let us travel this road together! And let our joy in Christ be evident to all we meet!
Our Lord’s earthly journey did not end at Calvary. When from the cross He said “it is finished”, He was referring to His work of accomplishing our salvation, not the end of His life. Nor did His journey end on Easter morning when He rose from the grave, proclaiming His victory over death. Jesus’ earthly journey continued for another 40 days as St. Luke reports in Acts 1:3. During that time Jesus made several appearances to His followers and continued to teach them about how the Scriptures testify of His work. (Lk. 24:44-49) He also gave them the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations” by baptizing them and teaching them. (Mt. 28:1-20)
The earthly journey of our Lord ended on the day of His Ascension into heaven. Recorded in detail in Acts, chapter 1, we read that Jesus took His disciples to the Mount of Olives where He bodily ascended into the clouds. Ascension Day (May 30) is a day to celebrate our Lord’s return to His heavenly home! This year we will observe Ascension Day with a service of Evening Prayer at 7:30 pm. Please join us in celebrating this glorious day.