Well, Lent has come and gone, and we are now in the season of Easter! So, we’re done with the forty days, right? We know forty is one of God’s favorite numbers… the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years. It rained for forty days in the flood; Moses spent forty days on Mt. Sinai with God. Jesus was tempted in the desert for forty days. So, we should be about done with forty don’t you think? Nope. We have one more to go.
The next important day we will acknowledge in the church year is Christ’s Ascension. After he was raised from the dead, he spent forty days with his disciples. Then he took them out to Bethany and told them to stay in Jerusalem until the coming of the Holy Spirit. He gave them this commission from the Gospel of Matthew, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Then he was taken up into heaven before their eyes.
The disciples did what Jesus asked and went back to Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit. While they were there, they elected Matthias to replace Judas as one of the twelve disciples. Then ten days later, the day of Pentecost came. Here’s what happened from the book of Acts, "When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability." From there Peter preached the good news of Jesus Christ for the very first time and over three thousand people became believers in one day!
The Day of Ascension is May 18th which we will celebrate on Sunday, May 21st and Pentecost is Sunday, May 28th. In our congregation we have a tradition of Affirmation of Baptism for our confirmands. This year we will celebrate four of our young people saying “yes” to Jesus for themselves. Very special indeed!
See you Sunday