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  • Writer's pictureRob Odum

"Connecting the Importance of Ascension Sunday with the Mission of the Church"

As we approach the sacred observance of Ascension Sunday, our hearts are drawn to reflect on the profound significance of this day within the Christian calendar. Ascension Sunday marks the culmination of Jesus Christ's earthly ministry and the transition to the era of the Church empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is a moment of both farewell and empowerment, as Christ ascended to the right hand of God, leaving his disciples with a commission to continue his work in the world.

In Luke 24:44-53, we find the account of Jesus' final moments with his disciples before his ascension. He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, revealing to them the fulfillment of prophecy and the necessity of his death and resurrection. He commissioned them to be witnesses of these things to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Then, with a blessing, he was taken up to heaven.

The Ascension is not merely a historical event to be commemorated; it is a profound theological truth that continues to shape our identity and mission as the Church. It reminds us of Christ's exaltation and reign over all creation, as well as our call to bear witness to his transformative love and grace to the ends of the earth.

As a United Methodist congregation, we affirm our commitment to inclusivity, justice, and compassion in all aspects of our ministry. The message of the Ascension speaks directly to our call to embody these values in our local communities and beyond. Just as Christ commissioned his disciples to be witnesses to all nations, so too are we called to engage in international mission.

International mission is not merely about spreading a particular religious message; it is about building relationships of solidarity, promoting human dignity, and working for the common good of all people. It is about recognizing the interconnectedness of our world and responding with empathy and compassion to the needs of our global neighbors.

In our mission endeavors, let us be guided by the principles of humility, respect, and cultural sensitivity. Let us listen attentively to the voices of those we seek to serve, recognizing that true transformation occurs through authentic relationships built on mutual trust and understanding.

As we celebrate Ascension Sunday, may we be inspired to recommit ourselves to the work of building God's kingdom here on earth. May we embrace the call to international mission with courage and conviction, knowing that we do not labor alone but in partnership with the risen and ascended Christ, who continues to be present with us in the power of the Holy Spirit.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forevermore.

With love and blessings,

Pastor Rob


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