In the mid-late 90’s, I shared with the Park Crest college group from Philip Yancey’s book, “The Jesus I Never Knew.” Great book. I’ll confess I’d forgotten his thoughts on the ascension. I revisited the book and his thoughts a few months ago, and have pondered them since. Without getting too theological, or footnoted, etc. here are my conclusions. These are simple thoughts, but a new perspective for me.
If Jesus were here today, there would be two really big things happening:
1. People would do everything they could to get near him to ask Him to help them, heal them, pray for them, etc. It would be like this, but 1000 times over. He would help the poor.
2. People who loved Jesus would be clamoring to find ways to serve Him…can I get you some tea? Can I wash your feet? Here, have the comfortable seat, etc. It would be like Mary and Martha but 1000 times over. People would serve Him.
Jesus isn’t here (at least physically). He ascended. He’s not back yet. But…
1. People still need help. Since He’s gone, we can be stand in for Him and do our best to help those in need. As Audio Adrenaline sang a long time ago, we can be “His hands, His feet.” We can help the poor.
2. We can serve Him as we would if He were present in the “Can I get you some tea or wash your feet” sense. We do so when we serve others. In fact, that’s the point of much of Matthew 25, which says, “When you do this unto the least of these, you do this unto me”. We can serve Him.
Anyways…as you can see, #1 and #2 happen simultaneously when we serve others in His name.
These are some of the thoughts I’ve been pondering since mid-December. Our interns leave for Haiti on Monday to do just that. I’ll join them in the Caribbean soon. My friend Travis just left for Honduras to do just that, you can read more here.