Liturgically, this is the last Sunday of Easter before Pentecost. This past Thursday was the feast of the Ascension which commemorates the event described in Luke 24 and Acts 1 when Jesus was taken up into Heaven. The disciples were commanded to wait for the Holy Spirit, but the Ascension itself describes one of the central mysteries of the Christian faith. We proclaim that God’s Kingdom is near, that it is at hand, that it is here. But are King is absent from the scene (present by the Spirit). We declare a kingdom but the nations see no King. This is the now-but-not-yet-ness of the Kingdom of God. To our risen and ascended Lord we pray:
Jesus we know that you drank the dregs of our humanity,
that you suffered heartbreak and loss,
You were rejected and abandoned by those you called your own,
We know that you know betrayal and that you bore
all the abuse we could throw at you.
We trust in your resurrection and the power of new life you offer.
But when we look at our world and wonder. . .
Where are you when the single mom is evicted because she can’t make ends meet?
Where are you as warfare, abuse and sexual immorality destroys families?
Where are when we ourselves struggle? Feel abandoned? Feel alone?
We know your kingdom is here and we trust that you are at work–
interceding for us, preparing our place, reconciling the world to yourself.
But sometimes we still feel the dull ache of your absence on the earth.
Come Lord Jesus and restore all things!
Make us mindful of your presence with us by your Holy Spirit and let us rejoice at the hope of your coming again.
Come Lord Jesus!