Dear Friends and Families,
I would like to ask you all a question: where do you think Jesus is now and what is he currently doing?
‘Jesus said to his disciples: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.’ [Acts 1:7-9].
On Thursday this week, one of the most underrated days in the Christian calendar is occurring – Ascension Day. This the day, 40 days after Easter (Resurrection Sunday), upon which Jesus ascended back to the right hand of God the Father in Heaven. His final command to his disciples before leaving was to wait for the promised gift – the Counselor from Heaven – who would remind them of Jesus’ teaching and continue his ministry in the Church.
Ten days later on Sunday (50 days after Easter), this promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecostthrough the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Over the centuries, many searching people have expressed a kind of sorrow or disappointment, in that they did not live on earth at the same time as Christ, and thus could not both see and hear the great teacher from Nazareth in the flesh. The thinking normally runs something like this: “If only I lived in Jerusalem, sometime between 30 and 33AD, then I would so easily believe.” Such sentiment is understandable.
However, the gift of the Holy Spirit is actually a timely and far better promise, in the sense that it is essentially the person of Jesus himself dwelling inside a believer for all eternity!
Such an intimate and all-consuming relationship was not possible whilst Christ was still on earth. He needed to go away, so that something more advantageous would come in his place.
And how does the Holy Spirit come to live inside a person?
The apostle Paul, when writing to the church at Ephesus (part of modern-day Turkey), gives the answer with beautiful simplicity and clarity: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession” [Ephesians 1:13-14].
Where is Jesus now? He is ruling on his rightful throne in Heaven. Our world may well seem chaotic at present but do be encouraged that is ultimately Christ’s domain. He rules!
If you would like to speak further, or have questions about the Christian life, then do please contact me at: [email protected]
I also encourage you to pray the Eastertide prayer for the week below.
If you would like to explore the certainty of Christ further, the two local Anglican churches listed below lead regular Sunday services.
St Peter’s, Craigieburn (meeting at 10.30am on Sundays in the Chapel at Hume Anglican Grammar – 100 Mount Ridley Road, Mickleham)
Locum: Father Charles Potter
Mobile: 0468 331 549 / 03 9308 2452
Email: [email protected]
Redemption Anglican Church (meeting at 4.00pm on Sundays at the Hume Tennis & Community Centre - 225 Marathon Blvd, Craigieburn)
Pastor: Rev. Akhil Gardner
Mobile: 0400 021 381
Email: [email protected]
Prayer for the week
whose Son Jesus Christ is the way,
the truth, and the life:
grant that we may walk in his way,
rejoice in his truth,
and share his risen life;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Song (Good Good Father)
Reverend Peter Waterhouse - School Chaplain