This Thursday is known throughout Christendom as Ascension Day. The day commemorates the ascension of Christ at the end of his earthly ministry. Before he left the earth, Jesus gave us the Great Commission, a command to spread his message of love to the world.
For the past few weeks, we have focused on scripture that admonishes us as followers of Christ to love God and love one another. It is so easy to forget that the center of everything we believe as Christians is love. Often, we try to make it so very difficult to be a follower of Christ. We allow ourselves to believe that we have to follow a list a rules and regulations in order to be a better Christian. We have to go to church a certain number of times each week. We have to read our Bibles and pray just the right number of times. We have to avoid things and do things and make sure our legalistic checklist is complete. We forget that, in reality, all we have to do is love.
The final message that Jesus left with his followers was a message of love. Spread love throughout the world. Love is the mark of true Christianity. As Jim told us on Sunday, love was the theme of the “leaving speech” of Christ.
This Sunday, the prelude will be an arrangement of this text:
A hymn of glory let us sing;
New songs throughout the world shall ring.
Christ, by a road before untrod,
Ascendeth to the throne of God.
As we commemorate the ascension of Christ, may we remember that world will see God within each of us when we have love for one another.