This Sunday is a special, albeit mostly overlooked, Sunday in the church calendar. Yep, it’s Ascension Sunday! It is the Sunday that precedes Pentecost. Ascension Sunday is important in that it marks the end of Jesus’ 40 day period after his resurrection on Easter, a period marked by his presence with the Disciples. The ascension of Jesus marks a change in epochs as the age of the Church now stands on the cusp of God’s grand plan for the salvation of planet earth.
The Holy Spirit has been promised to be Jesus’ abiding presence in the church and in disciples of Jesus after his ascension. So, 10 days before Pentecost, Jesus ascends into heaven. The dating is pretty straight forward; Pentecost is 50 days after Easter, Jesus appeared to his disciples for 40 days, hence, this Sunday we observe the ascension.
Our text will be Acts 1.6-14. It will mark our official “Looking Forward” to what God has in store for the church through the Holy Spirit. It will also invite, perhaps even compel us to look forward, discerning what God has in store for each of us as disciples. We also will celebrate David Minton’s graduation from High School during the service.
It is appropriate to look forward on another front Sunday. We have several excellent discipleship opportunities coming up as we transition though Summer. Brenda Odell’s study of Spiritual Gifts will be concluding and Bob Inman and Karen Tutak will begin a study on Christian healing, which has a long tradition in the Christian Faith.
I will begin a short-term Disciple Bible Study of the Old Testament on June 18. This study will run 8 weeks, concluding on August 13 (Yes, that is nine weeks—I will be on vacation July 23). There will be a new member class on August 20 and 27, with New Member Sunday being September 10. Several of you have expressed interest in becoming members of NBUMC. As Larry the Cable Guy might say, “Let’s git-r-done!”
Our Short-Term Disciple Bible Study will continue in the New Testament beginning on September 10 and running through October 29. Of course, our Advent Study will begin November 26.
I am looking forward to what God has in store for us. I am also looking forward to how our Discipleship program is going to help further form us as disciples of Jesus Christ.
See you Sunday,