This past week, we celebrated Ascension Day (a day that is often forgotten, but yet a very important day for Christians). I came across this blog about Ascension Day and I want to share it with you.
According to Luke, Jesus had presented Himself alive from the dead “by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3. They would have been unforgettable experiences for the disciples, seeing and hearing Jesus in His resurrection body, unmistakable proof that He had completely conquered sin and Satan, and death itself. Just like the two disciples who walked with Him on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32), their hearts must have burned with excitement and wonder. He appeared to them in the upper room on the first Easter Sunday, and a week later, Thomas had the opportunity to touch the resurrection body of Jesus that bore the marks of His crucifixion, evidence that He had died to sin, once for all.
A disciple is another word for a follower of Christ, one who is learning to be like his Master. As a disciple you follow Jesus Christ, who is the Master and by living like Him you become more Like Him. (Matthew 16:24; 1Peter 2:21-22) Seeing and hearing Jesus in His resurrection body, unmistakable proof that He had completely conquered sin and Satan, and death itself. Just like the two disciples who walked with Him on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32), their hearts must have burned with excitement and wonder. He appeared to them in the upper room on the first Easter Sunday, and a week later, Thomas had the opportunity to touch the resurrection body of Jesus that bore the marks of His crucifixion, evidence that He had died to sin, once for all. (John 20:19-29) Moreover, He encouraged them to stay in Jerusalem because very soon they would also receive power to overcome and be His witnesses through the Holy Spirit, whom He would send them from heaven.
But to do that He first had to return to heaven, and take His rightful place at the right hand of the Father. That took place near Bethany on the Mount of Olives. (Luke 24:50) That was a glorious open-air meeting. With the farewell promise that He would not leave His disciples alone, but through the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Helper, the Teacher of Righteousness, He would be with them always, even to the end of the age. (John 16:7, Matthew 28: 18-20) Jesus was taken up before their eyes “and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”
I think had we been there on Ascension Day, we might also have stood there in silent farewell, gazing steadfastly up into heaven. But God has work for us to do, and He sent two angels to give the disciples their marching orders, “‘This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem … and all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” Acts 1:9-14. These 120 people were the first fruits of the church, and it was given to them to lay the foundations of God’s temple on earth, made from living stones who follow Jesus on the way that He made for us.
The Race Marked out for Us
It’s that time again. It should have been track and field day this week. Love that day! WCS always has SUCH a great turnout of family fans. Lawn chairs and food tickets. Overflowing parking lots (Where would we have parked this year???). Conversations and community. Excitement and disappointment and not a little intensity… Spring. Running and races. Journeys.
Here’s a passage from Hebrews that resonates at this time of year, but filled with wisdom for all of life. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us: Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This passage takes a different twist this year as we consider the pandemic, emergency remote learning, working from home and all of the new experiences we are having. This is an uncharted race - but read carefully - did you catch it? “The race marked out for us…” Yes. You read correctly. The path is not always of our own choosing and planning. It is set before us. What godly characteristics are we going to display when the path takes unexpected, unprecedented turns? Read some of the lessons that can be learned through just this short Bible passage:
The Race Analogy: We all want our kids to press on toward the goal as they make their way through life. When preparing your kids for this most important race, be sure to keep a few things in mind:
Training is essential - Paul reminds all of us to train yourself to be godly. Training needs to take place every day in every way. Look for opportunities to teach, model, and reinforce God's incredible grace 24/7.
Cheer one another on - It’s no accident that Scripture repeatedly implores us to encourage one another, build each other up (1 Thess 5:11), to carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). No one is meant to run this race alone.
Stay focused- Run with perseverance the race marked out for us
Finish strong “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
Pass the baton - The greatest legacy we can pass onto the next generation is the Good News of Jesus Christ. Be sure to practice your handoff, over and over again! (Adapted from christianliferesources.com)
Carol Verbeek, Principal
This morning at the class Zoom meeting the students shared what they did for Mother’s Day. It was beautiful to hear and see the sweet ways the children made their mother feel special. Cards and crafts were made, breakfast was made, and some moms were served in bed, food was ordered in, and flowers were given. I reminded the students that even though there is just one day set aside to honour our mothers it is important to show our mothers how much we appreciate and love them all year round.
Proverbs 31:25-31 says
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Thank you, God, for mothers, grandmothers, and special women in our lives that reflect godly love to us, encourage and guide us, and love us unconditionally.
Mrs. Jannette Hickey
More about the Emmaus Road
How often we underestimate the power of God. Back to the story from Luke 24:13-35 NIV - On the Road to Emmaus. The travellers looked at the death of Jesus and were so disappointed. They’d put their hope in him as a prophet and as Messiah and He had died. Their hopes had died with Him.
There is a significant life experience lesson to learn from this. When we are in circumstances in our lives which tempt us to think that God has thrown us a curveball, that there is no hope, that we have been consigned to a misery that we do not deserve, that somehow God's plan has failed, we are exactly where these disciples were. ... They looked at these events, they looked at the death of the prophet and Messiah that they loved, and could not understand. In this very event which they see as the loss of hope, God has revealed His power in using it as His stratagem to display His glory.
And it is like that in our own lives. When we are tempted to say, “This is too hard. This is not how it's supposed to be. My plan would be better if I were in charge” we doubt the power of God. In this place of disappointment, we are needy and have no idea of the joy that He is capable of giving when we believe and trust. No rug can be pulled out from under you when your confidence is in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No circumstance can rob that from you. The beautiful thing in the Emmaus story is, these men got it! Jesus breaks bread, He prays, He gives them the loaf — suddenly their eyes are opened and they realize, “It's Jesus!” and He's gone. They recognize the power of Jesus: “Weren’t our hearts burning within us when He explained the Scriptures?!” When they get back to see the eleven, they say what? “The Lord has risen indeed!” They get it! They believe; they embrace the person of the Messiah, the cost of the redemption, and the power of the resurrection, and it changes their lives. What a beautiful story we share with the Emmaus travellers!
(adapted from: fpcjackson.org/resource-