Christ The Servant Church
homily may 2017
Homily for may 28, 2017
The story of the Ascension in the Acts of the Apostles is essentially the end of the original Jesus story and the beginning of the Christian journey.
One of the central issues for students of Christianity is the discussion of why the new testament was written down and then arranged into the current gospel structure.
Historians have suggested that the gospels were selected and compiled to support the second generation of believers need for a long- term vehicle for their faith.
The second reading, is consistent with this theory and reflects the evolution of the “Jesus movement” from a cluster of small intimate and relatively informal groups
into a recognizable religious movement that is beginning to provide an alternative to Judaism, and Greco/Roman paganism.
By the time that the Acts of the Apostles was written, (approximately 80 years after the Ascension) the split between The Jewish faction and the Greco/universal
faction was reaching its breaking point.
The Jewish world was coming apart at the seams and the destruction of the extremist fortress at Masada by the Romans (73 AD) presaged the end of Israel as
The manner in which “Acts” depicts the Ascension points to the second generation’s priority in refocusing newly recruited believers from the original tradition of a “Jewish” Messiah, to the Christian concept of an everlasting Supernatural and “universal” Christ.
The story of the “ascension” does two things, firstly it places Jesus in the same traditional Biblical aura of Enoch and Elijah (both of whom ascended to heaven) secondly the ascension completes the transformation of the man called Jesus to the son of God the Christ. Christians are now being encouraged to focus their worship on the risen Christ who is the eternal source of God’s “spirit in us” called the “Christos” the “spark of the Devine” or the light of Christ.
The light of Christ abides in all of us. It is activated by the Holy Spirit. The more that we let the Holy Spirit into our selves the more “Godly” we become.
Jesus the man provides us with the example of the ultimate impact that this process can have within the human condition. The story of Jesus written in the Gospels of Mark, Mathew and Luke are based on an oral tradition and provide a powerful guide of how we are to act on earth. These Gospels inspire us to live our lives in preparation for our eternal spiritual connectivity to God.
In the Ascension story the risen Christ gave the disciples, (and through them to us) two clear commands, they were, to stop worrying about the “end of times”
(i.e. Gods time is not our time) and begin spreading their “witness” of him “unto the uttermost ends of the earth. “ These directives were carefully placed in the Biblical Cannon by the writer to refocus the newly developing Christians from statically awaiting the resurrection towards active evangelization primarily outside of the Jewish community.
The new Church of Christ was now being directed towards an active and dynamic purpose, energised by the power of the Holy Spirit. “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit will come upon you…”
The ascension story is the powerful climax of the transformation of the man called Jesus into the eternal Christ. Historically it is also the moment when a small number of believers began the journey towards a universal Christian Church inspired and enlivened by the light of Christ.