Today’s Reading: Luke 24:44-53
Daily Lectionary: Numbers 11:1-23, 31-35; Luke 17:1-19
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Luke 24:44)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Just before He ascended to the Father’s right hand, Jesus made sure His sent ones knew exactly what they were to do without His physical presence, and why they were being sent to do it. One last time, He opened the Scriptures to them and clearly traced the line from Genesis, through the oracles of the prophets, across the psalms, and up to His own life, death, and resurrection, to be sure they understood that this is how it always had to be—the way it must be for salvation to be procured and proclaimed for all humanity. Now, as He is set to return to the right hand of His Father’s throne, He tells them that they are to pick up the mantle. They are to go forth, not just in Jerusalem and Galilee, but to all the world, to preach the forgiveness of sins to those who don’t even know they need it.
Remember the last time you needed your sins forgiven? Your pastor has been sent to you, just like the apostles were sent to the known world, to proclaim forgiveness, life, and salvation. When you weren’t sure if God would forgive you, it was your sent pastor who reassured you that the blood of Jesus covers all your sin. All of it. When Jesus ascended, He didn’t disappear. He is just as close now as He was to the apostles then, in a slightly different way.
The Holy Spirit has been at work creating faith in you, and Jesus has been upon the mercy seat of the altar of your church, present in bread and wine made Body and Blood, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Don’t ever worry that you somehow missed out because you never saw Jesus on this earth. He made sure you would always be able to touch Him, to receive Him, to be blessed by Him in the Sacrament of the Altar.
Even though He returned to the Father, He still fills all creation, and especially your church, where He is ready to proclaim His Word to you through the lips of your pastor. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. Duane Bamsch
Almighty God, as Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into the heavens, so may we also ascend in heart and mind and continually dwell there with Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for The Ascension of Our Lord)