Forward Today: Jesus loves you, this I know

The central dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. (Scott Gunn)

Dear friends in Christ,

Tomorrow the church celebrates one of our most important feasts, Ascension Day. We commemorate Jesus’ ascension into heaven to sit at his Father’s right hand. The story is told in Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:6-11.

This feast day is not just about Jesus doing another supernatural thing that defies our understanding of reality, the way he also walked out of a tomb after having been killed. While it is about that, there is a deeper meaning that we do well to ponder.

Our celebration of Ascension Day completes our celebration of the fullness of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ in recalling and giving thanks for his suffering, death, resurrection, and yes, ascension. His glorification and presence at his Father’s right hand shows us the triumph of God’s grace and mercy over the powers of evil, sin, and death.

In the Ascension, we also see that Jesus has entrusted and commissioned his followers to carry on his reconciling ministry. And not wanting to leave us alone, Jesus promised the presence of the Holy Spirit. That’s a lot of amazing news to pack into one celebration!

It’s all because Jesus loves us. Not past tense. Jesus is not merely a moral teacher who showed us how to live. He is those things, but he is also the means of grace and the hope of glory.

Right now, when you need him, you can call on Jesus. He is ready to offer us his grace, mercy, and healing when we need it. He is ready to intercede for us with his Father. He knows our struggles and our joys. He is alive, ruling from heaven.

So don’t be distracted by the mechanics of Ascension Day. Focus instead on how this event is part of God’s saving love for us and for all people.

I hope you are able to find your way to a church this evening for Ascension Eve or tomorrow for Ascension Day. We have a lot for which to offer our thanks and praise.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

More from our ministry:

Follow the story of redemption from start to finish: The Path

Prayer and inspiration that fit in your pocket: Forward Day by Day

Devotions that focus on each Person of the Trinity: A Generous Beckoning

Next week: Hear Scott’s hopes for the church’s future in this VTS webinar