Ascension Sunday May 17, 2015
Church of the Ascension
There is an Episcopal church in Davie County, North Carolina, called the Church of the Ascension—a small rural church with deep roots in the local community. Although small in number, the church is a robust group of people who live out their faith through acts of generosity and kindness. In the midst of the weekly Eucharist they celebrate the presence of Christ Jesus in the lives of each person who gathers to worship—the “One who came from Heaven.”
Our passage from John’s Gospel reminds us of the message and mission of Christ. As the representative of God’s love, Jesus receives and transmits the message of hope to the disciples. Jesus calls them into service, equips them in ministry, enables them to perform signs and wonders, and provides for their continued ministry through the work of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s living presence is seen and felt as the disciples share the love of God in their world. Even though Jesus will soon depart from their immediate presence, the Spirit’s power will be evident in their continued ministry.
The founding members of the Church of the Ascension believed that the work of the church needed a home in the small rural community that it serves. They live out the promise of the ascension in providing food for the hungry, warm clothing for the needy, and a weekly offering of bread and wine for the thirsty and weary traveler.
Small in numbers but mighty in Spirit, this small framed structure of the Church of the Ascension that graces the roadside in Bixby, North Carolina, offers an oasis of spirituality in the world of despair and doubt. They live out their namesake by being light, joy, and hope to those who visit their church.
Is your congregation a church of the ascension?
David H. Merritt, pastor, Bethania Moravian Church, Bethania, North Carolina