Friday, May 22, 2020

e-vo for May 22

Dearest e-votees,

May 21 (Thursday of this week) is Ascension Day.  It is forty days after Easter (counting the day of Easter just as Friday to Sunday is "on the third day" in how that part of the world counts).

The assigned texts for this day include Acts 1:1-11 where Jesus shows convincing proofs of his resurrection for 40 days and then ascends into heaven promising that they will be receive power when the Holy Spirit comes (unbeknownst to the apostles very quickly, in 10 days on Pentecost).



The Bible has a rather scant accounting of what took place during the 40 days between Easter and Ascension.  I would love to know what sorts of proofs Jesus shared.  I would love to be a fly on the wall and listen to the conversations and the teachings.  It would be good to watch the apostles come to a stronger faith, conviction and resolve during this time.  All of us could use some bolstering of our faith, our convictions and our resolve, right?  It seems that the writer to Theophilus (author of Luke and Acts) could have done a little more documentation here.  That would be my feedback were I give the first draft of Acts.

What we are given, however, is that the followers of Jesus while having faith and deep connections with Jesus were in need of an ongoing presence in their lives of the Holy Spirit.  That there was important work to be done.  That work could only best be done with the equipping of the Holy Spirit.  Luther talks about the work of the Holy Spirit this way in the explanation of the 3rd article of the Apostles Creed: "I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith."

The Holy Spirit is a gift for the apostles, to be sure, but for all of us believers as well.  We are called, gathered, enlightened and sanctified.  May we rest and work, speak and listen and tend to our vocations and avocations in the sure and certain presence of the Holy Spirit.

God, help us find peace with the parts of the story that we don't have or can't understand.  Stir us with your Holy Spirit to a fuller more robust faith.  Stoke our faith, our convictions and our resolve--all to Your glory.  Amen.

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