never alone

After Jesus was raised from the dead, he spent time with his followers, appearing to them, reassuring them it really was him and not a ghost, and explaining scripture and his teachings to them in light of his death and resurrection. Eventually, it was time for him to leave earth and ascend.    

We find accounts of Jesus’ ascension in Luke 24 and Acts 1.  In both Luke’s and Acts’ accounts of Jesus ascending, he is explaining and teaching up to the very end.  There are so many things the followers are confused and uncertain about, so much to unpack and make sense of.  Yet, Jesus reassures them that even when he goes, they will not be left alone.  In Luke, Jesus assures the followers that they will be “clothed with power from on high.”  In Acts, Jesus says, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”  Though Jesus will not continue to be with them physically, he will be with them (even within them) through the spirit of God – guiding, reassuring, and empowering them to continue the ministry of love and healing that Jesus began and still invites them to share. 

Followers of Jesus still understand God’s continued presence in terms of the spirit.  We can’t really explain it – among the mysteries of faith is the notion that God continues to be with those who follow Jesus, though he is not physically present.  Yet God is here, always.  In the compassion of our neighbors.  In the beauty of birdsong or sunset. In forgiveness when we’ve been wrong. In a kind word from a stranger. In a moment of patience when we need it most. In a call for justice and for peace. In laughter with dear friends.  God is present in countless other small moments (and large ones) where we embody the love Jesus teaches and calls us to live. We are not alone, for God is present in every moment of love and hope and new life.



weekly prayer | Jesus ascends in Luke 24 and Acts 11

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