1 Theophilus, the first scroll I wrote concerned everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning, 2 right up to the day when he was taken up into heaven. Before he was taken up, working in the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus instructed the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he showed them that he was alive with many convincing proofs. He appeared to them over a period of forty days, speaking to them about God’s kingdom. 4 While they were eating together, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised. He said, “This is what you heard from me: 5 John baptized with water, but in only a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 As a result, those who had gathered together asked Jesus, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?”
7 Jesus replied, “It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
9 After Jesus said these things, as they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight.
Yesterday had to be the most beautiful day since spring started, so I hope you were able to enjoy it! As for me, I walked outside, I looked up, seeing clouds and the bluest sky I think I have ever seen in NJ. I also worked in our garden and imagined that same Holy Wind that Jesus spoke about so long ago. I am in awe and wonder of the Holy Spirit and the promise of how this divine connection would have inspired the first believers. Since first understanding the events of Jesus’ Ascension, whenever I see beautiful cumulus clouds, birds flying or kites soaring, or just hear the rustling of the wind, I often think of his Ascension and of the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Yesterday was just such a beautiful day to imagine it!
During the disciples’ time with Jesus, they began to realize that the restoration of the kingdom was not going to happen the way they had imagined. Jesus told believers that the Holy Spirit would come and define their connection to God and to one another. This holy force would come and bind believers to God’s mission that would be the life of the church. This is to say that Jesus’ message, his Ascension and the Pentecost was about to become not just about the life of One, but about our collective life in the Spirit. Jesus was saying, now it is up to all of you and I am leaving you with the Holy Spirit to connect you as the Body of the Church. The message meant for us today is to keep seeking the holy through our living connections in love. As we breathe in and out, may we be reminded that we are divinely bound to one another through the Spirit. I encourage you to imagine that the Holy Spirit binds us together, by example, through the very air we breathe. Bind us together Lord, bind us together in love.
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Pause today to remember that God through the Holy Spirit is in the very air that we breathe. As we are missing loved ones, breathe in and out, thinking of others here and around the globe doing the same. As we live and breathe, the Holy Spirit is our living connection. Come Holy Spirit, come! Pray (or sing) this song:
Bind us together Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken. Bind us together Lord, bind us together in love. There is only one God, there is only one King; There is only one body, that is why we sing. Amen.
(Bind Us Together, from The Faith We Sing, by Bob Gillman, 1977)