prayer for Ascension Day

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer

is it a gospel answer?

Oftentimes, or at least here and there in the course of life we are confronted with hard questions, which on the surface are troubling, or don’t have any easy answers. I think what is required is much wisdom along with a cushion of– or better yet, in the air of grace. And we do well, while we’re working on this and after we’ve arrived to something tentative to ask ourselves and others, “Is it a gospel answer?”

By the gospel I mean the good news of God’s grace and kingdom come in Jesus through his incarnation, life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, pouring out of the Spirit, and return. The hope for the world. And we think of it in terms of our own justification and forgiveness. Justification in the sense of having been declared right with God in and through Jesus. The gospel answer is so rich and multifaceted that this is hardly a beginning sketch of that.

But we do well to ask ourselves this question across the board, realizing that there are many other considerations. Our answer takes into consideration everything, but in the end both for us and for the world the gospel is front and center.

The gospel is good news of something we could never do for ourselves, but that something done in and through Jesus. And we live in response to that, as well as in that, in that grace.

And so when I’m confronted with a hard question, or one that might throw me off course and into fear and condemnation, I need to try to find the gospel answer as I seek to think through the issue well. And then learn to live in that answer, as revolutionary for me as that may be.