May 23, 2004

Henry Neufeld - “Ascension in the Bible and in History”

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Henry Neufeld spoke on the Lectionary texts for Ascension Sunday. Although Ascension (Thursday) used to be a church feast day for German and Russian Mennonites, the day has since slipped into oblivion for most North American evangelicals. Although we generally ignore it, might we still learn from it? One of the very brief stories of Christ's ascension tells of Jesus appearing to his disciples for the final time--they are still asking the same old question, when will the Kingdom begin--now? Rather than answering directly, he disappears. If we review the days after the crucifixion, we recall that Jesus was in the tomb about three days, possibly to allow time for the followers to be convinced that he truly was deceased. After the resurrection, he occasionally appeared to them over a period of about 40 days, possibly to provide adequate time for the followers to become convinced of his new and strange existence before he finally disappeared for good. Finally, he let them stew over the ascension for about ten days before flooding their lives with the coming of the Holy Spirit. Returning to the ascension, do we too stand staring at the sky, wondering about God, or should we instead expect not to understand everything? Did the disciples appreciate that Christ's leaving was for their own good, so that they no longer depended on him for everything? Christ said he will return, but how? Literally? Through a sister or brother? Henry concluded by reminding us that the Kingdom will indeed be in our midst if we let love be present among us. [JEK]


Passage: Luke 24:44-53
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event: Ascension Sunday
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Henry Neufeld
Worship Leader: Mark Northey
Song Leader: J Evan Kreider
Pianist: Ruth Enns
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader:


Bring Flowers:
Coffee Helper:
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Child Care Volunteer: Hannelore Schowalter

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