A People on the Move-Easter 2011
June 5, 2011-Ascension Sunday
―But you will receive
power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
ends of the earth.‖ When he had
said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (Acts 1: 8-9)
There they stand, mouths agape,stunned, staring up into the sky. Whatan empti-ness theapostlesmust havefelt asthey low-ered theirgaze and looked blankly at each other.Now what?
I‘ve had ―now what?‖ feeling at least
twice in my life. Once was when I droveaway with my mother and sister fromthe cemetery where we had just buriedmy father, overwhelmed with the reali-zation that we were leaving him behind,forever. The second was when mydaughter and her brand new husbandwalked through the gate to the planethat would take them half a worldaway for a year. The house I wenthome to had never before seemed soempty, so drained of life. How could Igo on without my father, or with mydaughter so far away?But I did go on. I learned to live withmy father's memory instead of his physi-cal presence. Through letters and phonecalls, my daughter and I realized wecould still be close even with great dis-tance between us.The Ascension story is not a story of loss and emptiness. When the disciplesreturned to an upper room in Jerusalem,the presence of Jesus was alive withthem, just as he had promised. Indeed,the spirit of the living Christ was so pow-erful that the fervent prayers and fel-lowship of these first disciples soon ig-nited a movement that would literallychange the world.When our com-munity of Disci-ples locks thedoor and walksaway from 2201First Avenue, wewill be venturing into a future full of promise and new life. We will have anopportunity, in partnership with other
believers, to be witnesses for Jesus‘ mes-sage in ways we can‘t even yet imagine.
So instead of dreading the ―nowwhat‖ feeling when we say goodbye,let‘s instead trust in and look forward to
living the next chapter of our story.
―And now I am no longer in
the world, but they are in the world. . . Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are
one.‖ (John 17: 11)
By Martha Harris
A People on the Move-Easter 2011
As I’m typing this intro, I can see that Spring has yet to really arrive in Minnesota. It’s
barely 50 degrees and only the day before, we had snow on the ground.The winter of 2010-11has been a rough one. Itlooks like it will be one ofthe snowiest winters indecades. So much snowfor so long.The thing is, that as thedays get longer, the coldtends to lose its grip. Theearth draws in closer tothe sun and the weathergets warmer. Beforelong, Spring has finallyarrived.In this second in a seriesof devotionals called A People on the Move, we move from Lent into Easter, the time
in the life of the church where we celebrate Jesus Christ’s defeat of the powers of sinand death. Easter is a time of hope, of knowing that death doesn’t have the last
word.As we prepare for our historic move away from 2201 First Avenue South to Garfieldand 28th, we will be closing the door on a stage in the life of First Christian Church ofMinneapolis. In many ways it will feel like a death.But because we belong to God, a God that is with all the time, we can move in hopeof what God has yet do with and through us.Easter is here. In good times and bad, let us say with confidence and hope that Christis Risen! Christ is Risen indeed!Dennis SandersAssociate PastorEaster 2011