ASCENSION DAY, May 25
Sunday, May 28
Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
1 Peter 4:12 – chapter 5
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of glory,
may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation
as you come to know Him....
On those days when we feel dumb, slow-witted, unable to think our way out of a wet paper bag.... Like one of my friends from the AA group said,
“I tried to think, but then I realized that my head ain’t nothin’ but a hat-rack.”
In the Letter to the Ephesians we have this prayer.
Instead of big brains and book-learning, because we have a personal relationship with God the All-Wise, God freely gives us a spirit of wisdom and revelation. That sounds supernatural, doesn’t it ? Maybe what we need is way beyond the worldly usefulness of an inside tip on how to lose ten pounds quickly and easily, or how to pass a math test, or which car to buy.
Instead, this prayer invites us to step outside of our usual material world-view and receive from God some spiritual gifts.
... so that,
with the eyes of your heart enlightened,
you may know what is the hope
to which He has called you,
what are the riches
of His glorious inheritance among the saints,
and what is the immeasurable greatness
of His power for us who believe....
- Ephesians 1:18-19
“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord...” goes the song. “I want to see You.” This prayer for us in the Letter to the Ephesians asks God to grant us vision to grasp what God holds for us: we will see how
1) we belong, alongside all of God’s people, past,
present, and future— “the saints.”
2) God’s power is for us, not against us
or irrelevant to us, but for us.
... according to the working of His great power. God put this power to work in Christ
when He raised him from the dead....
- Ephesians 1:19-20
Remember Easter ? We said that “Christ is risen from the dead.” Although we live in a time when there is a ton of fiction— books, comics, games, movies— about life beyond death, it is still the case that only God truly gives life. God’s power is far beyond what mortal beings can do. This prayer in the Letter to the Ephesians asks God to use the power by which He raised Jesus from the dead to give hope to you and me.
... and seated him at His right hand
in the heavenly places,
far above all rule
and authority and power and dominion,
and above every name that is named,
not only in this age
but also in the age to come.
And He has put all things under his feet....
- Ephesians 1: 20 – 22
The Father raised Christ from the dead and also made him Lord over the whole universe.
The Ascension of Christ
an ivory “relief” carving,
made about A.D. 400
for the church, which is his body,
the fullness of Him Who fills all in all.
- Ephesians 1: 22 – 23
If we were not the body of the risen Christ, we would be a pitiful social club. If we were not the living body of Christ, our ignorant darkness and weakness would be pure hell. Instead, God sees potential in us to be overflowing with the power and light which lived in Jesus Christ.
Be the church !