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After Ascension, What?

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up
and a cloud received Him out of their sight"

(Acts 1:9)

"Ascension." What does it mean to you? I think of balloons, the kind one rides in. Colorfully designed, filled with hot air to make them rise, a passenger or two getting the thrill of a lifetime being lifted up from the earth to float upward and upward. Not exactly flying, but rather, floating up and away!

That was my view from the ground, the earth, looking up at the hot air balloon races that day in Indiana. What a glorious sight!

More glorious, I would imagine, would have been to be with Jesus' disciples as they listened to Jesus, resurrected from death forty days before, giving them final directions, then watching their Lord and Savior ascend into heaven!

    "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49)

Can you then also follow the disciples' examples and return to your "Jerusalem" to "tarry" and continually be with other believers together, praising and blessing God with great joy?

Whatever way we might "wait," when we indeed follow the command to "tarry", even for us today, we will receive the promised "Holy Spirit to those who ask Him" (Luke 11:13b) and receive the anticipated power to be His witnesses. Believe it!

    "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

    "...why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11)

    "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:16, 17)

I left them there on earth-
My disciples-gazing up
as I ascended in My resurrected body.
They could no longer see Me.
For I was received from there
at My Father's right hand.
I left them on earth, just as you now remain,
not without hope, however.
I continue to send the Promise of the Father,
following your obedience to My command.
Keep on assembling and waiting,
anticipating the One to come in My place.
I send Him, not just to be with you,
but to fill you with My presence.
Is your temple ready, dear one,
to receive Me in you?

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© Constance Vanides