Our Hope Elevates as Christ Ascends

Have you ever heard of the Friend Zone? It’s that awkward period of time in a hopeful relationship where you know someone better than an acquaintance, but you just haven’t made the jump to saying “I like, like you,” yet. If you’re like me, you’re all too familiar with this in-between stage of a relationship.

The truth is, life is full of these types of circumstances. Middle school students probably know this best. They aren’t kids anymore, but they’re still in the early stages of those crazy teenage years. High school seniors also know what this is like: Many have been accepted by the college of their dreams, but graduation is still so far away!

We are all used to living in this liminal space. Like standing in a doorway before entering a room. Not coming in, not going out. I’ve heard it said that Christ has begun a new work in the world but we have yet to see that work accomplished. We live in the “already but not yet.”

Take a moment to consider the account of Jesus’ ascension. Christ has already revealed Himself to a number of folks after His resurrection. Performing many miraculous signs and miracles, Jesus eases the uncertainty of His followers. The story goes that after a parting farewell, Jesus ascends into heaven, disappearing from sight.

Before people have a chance to wrap their minds around what just happened, two messengers appear out of nowhere. They encourage those present by saying this is not the end of the story. This is only the beginning. Christ will return. What’s more, He will return in the same manner He left. Descending from heaven in glory to live in community with His people again. As we hear of Christ’s ascension, we should also feel our hopes lift with Him.

So what in the world are we supposed to do in the mean time?!!!

For starters, we can tell the story. We can share with others the amazing things we have born witness to. We can share this tale of love and redemption with anybody who will listen. The story of Jesus has spread around the world several times over in the 2,000 years since His ascension. Men and women in all ages have even given their lives to share this story with others. And they continue to do so to this day.

We can worship God. Give Him praise, give Him recognition, or just say thank You for the lives we have been given to live. Christ set a precedent for this in His own actions of prayer and devotion.

We can also participate in the redemptive work He has already begun. Didn’t Jesus mention something about loving others as you would yourself? Loving your enemy? Blessing those who persecute you? This seems like a good place to start!

It’s in the in-between time that we have the opportunity to live out the calling Jesus has placed on our lives. It’s our chance to love the world as Christ loves it. To let that love transform us and bring us into an intimate relationship with the Father. To listen to the Holy Spirit and be sensitive to how the Spirit is working in the lives of people all around us.

Before Jesus comes back, we have the privilege to act as His representatives to the world! Let’s not waste this opportunity. We have a job to do, let’s get to it!

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