Jerusha Neal writes about our Acts reading for today, focusing us on how it explores the implications of the Ascension of Jesus (which we celebrated this past Thursday). She points us to how no longer having Jesus’ physical presence leaves the early church grappling with the questions of the what, why and how of communal life seeking to follow a Risen Lord. In reflecting on this, we as the contemporary church who are called to grapple with these same questions, are given some keys. First to the what of our common life— we are called to be witnesses to His resurrection. This is a key that we have been exploring through this Eastertide season—the way in which our lives are to reflect the
power of the resurrection. Secondly the why of our common life—so that God’s promises may be fulfilled. This connects us to Jesus’ words last week “you did not choose Me, but I chose you”. There is a Divine calling on our common life to be witnesses to how God fulfils His promises in us. Finally, how are we to discern God’s calling, leading and fulfilment in our community life? Rather than giving us a method, the early church gives us an example to follow. We discern the how- simply by leaning into our trust in the goodness of God. When placed together we are offered a process to continue living into our calling as believers. And Jesus himself prays for us in today’s Gospel. Knowing fully
that we will need every grace as we are sent out into the world, Jesus makes two petitions on our behalf. First that God protect us, from all assaults of the evil one, and from the vicissitudes of life.
Secondly, that God sanctify us in the truth by His word (Jesus). These two powerful requests give us both the protection we may need in carrying out the work of God, in a world that is not always open to God’s love AND set us apart of God’s purpose. May this week give you time to reflect on the what, why and how of our communal life so we are ready for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit next week at Pentecost Sunday. Pray for me, I am praying for you.
With love and light on you all.