Little Kimble Free Church

The Church by the Bridge - 100 Years of Good News

Weekly Reflection

10th May 2024

In Germany there are 9 Bank Holidays a year (like in Scotland and contrary to England which has 8). However, as Germany is federal it depends on the German State you are in as to how many bank holidays you have. In my native Baden-Wuerttemberg there are 12. 

One of the National Bank Holidays days however is Ascension Day, which is celebrated on the 9th of May. Ascension Day commemorates Jesus' Ascension which happened 40 days after Easter. 

Scripture records events after the resurrection like this: ‘After his (Jesus’) suffering, he presented himself to them (the disciples) and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God’.  (Acts 1:3).

The gospel of John also puts testimony to this period when it says the following about Jesus’, post-resurrection ministry in John 21:25: ‘Jesus did many things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.’

The resurrected Jesus was teaching, supporting, eating and being with his followers for 40 days. Imagine being there. How would we have felt? After the end of the 40 days of preparation Jesus then closed this chapter of his ministry, whilst preparing for the opening of the next one, the one we are in. The book of Acts describes it like this: ‘he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”’ (Acts 1:9-11).

After Jesus’ ascension the disciples prepared themselves for the coming of the promised Advocate, the Holy Spirit, which was to happen, as we know with hindsight, some 10 days later. Significantly the Disciples did not just wait but joined each other ‘constantly in prayer’ (Acts 1:14) whilst they were waiting for a promised event, but not exactly knowing what it would look like. Nevertheless, they trusted the Lord and knew something was coming. 

So in summary, Ascension Day marks the end of a chapter and the beginning of another, an intermediary stage whilst we prepare ourselves and await for the promised events to happen.  

Ascension Day in this country might not be a Bank Holiday, but it is a day that we can bank on as the start of things that are to come and that we are awaiting, just as the disciples at the time did. And they were not disappointed!

Have a joyful Ascension Day and thank God for sending his Son, sending the Holy Spirit and for being with us as we await the event that is to come!