A Story to Embody: Ascension of the Lord & Seventh Sunday of Easter

I'm taking a little liberty this week and combining verses from two different Lectionary readings, one being the celebration of the Ascension of our Lord and the others are verses from the seventh Sunday of Easter.

This week, the Lord opened the door for me to share these readings in a different capacity of my life.  I am very excited and I humbly ask you to join with me in prayer that these words would rest on "good soil" in the hearts of the readers.  Thank you for journeying with me on these readings.  Your love, support and kindness keep me going and I always get excited when I see a new door the Lord has opened.

As we walk away from remembering the cross and all Easter has for us, we are soon reminded of what Jesus had for us next.  It didn't just end there, and it doesn't just start in some future date.  These verses capture the essence, the joy and the mission that Christ has for us - today - as we walk on this earth!

Acts 1:1-11

-5Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he said good-bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to-face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God. As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but "must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon."
 6When they were together for the last time they asked, "Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?"

 7-8He told them, "You don't get to know the time. Timing is the Father's business. What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world."

 9-11These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes! They said, "You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left."

Psalm 47

1 Clap your hands, all you people. 
       Shout to God with joy. 
 2 The Lord Most High is wonderful. 
       He is the great King over all the earth!
 3 He defeated nations for us 
       and put them under our control. 
 4 He chose the land we would inherit. 
       We are the children of Jacob, whom he loved.

 5 God has risen with a shout of joy; 
       the Lord has risen as the trumpets sounded. 
 6 Sing praises to God. Sing praises. 
       Sing praises to our King. Sing praises.
 7 God is King of all the earth, 
       so sing a song of praise to him.
 8 God is King over the nations. 
       God sits on his holy throne.
 9 The leaders of the nations meet 
       with the people of the God of Abraham, 
    because the leaders of the earth belong to God. 
       He is supreme.

I John 5:9-13

9 We believe people when they say something is true. But what God says is more important, and he has told us the truth about his own Son.10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has the truth that God told us. Anyone who does not believe makes God a liar, because that person does not believe what God told us about his Son.11 This is what God told us: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.12 Whoever has the Son has life, but whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
We Have Eternal Life Now

 13 I write this letter to you who believe in the Son of God so you will know you have eternal life.

John 17:6-19

6 "I showed what you are like to those you gave me from the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have obeyed your teaching. 7 Now they know that everything you gave me comes from you.8 I gave them the teachings you gave me, and they accepted them. They knew that I truly came from you, and they believed that you sent me.9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for people in the world but for those you gave me, because they are yours.10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And my glory is shown through them.11 I am coming to you; I will not stay in the world any longer. But they are still in the world. Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they will be one, just as you and I are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me. I protected them, and only one of them, the one worthy of destruction, was lost so that the Scripture would come true.
    13 "I am coming to you now. But I pray these things while I am still in the world so that these followers can have all of my joy in them. 14 I have given them your teaching. And the world has hated them, because they don't belong to the world, just as I don't belong to the world.15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world but to keep them safe from the Evil One.16 They don't belong to the world, just as I don't belong to the world.17 Make them ready for your service through your truth; your teaching is truth.18 I have sent them into the world, just as you sent me into the world. 19 For their sake, I am making myself ready to serve so that they can be ready for their service of the truth.

In Christ,

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