As we journey through life, we experience a number of partings. We leave people and places for variety of reasons and in various ways. Some partings are peaceful, some abrupt, some temporary, others permanent. Depending on the nature and reason for the parting some are joyful others are more traumatic or heartbreaking.
After the Last Supper, Jesus explained various things to his disciples to prepare them for what was to happen in the following days. He said,
“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.” John 14:25-27 The Message
This week we remember Ascension Day and I would like to invite you to enter into an Imaginative Meditation of Jesus parting from his disciples and ascending into heaven. If you prefer, there is an audio version of this meditation on the into-deeper-waters.com website. You can listen to it here
Enter into this in whichever way seems best for you today. You may like to be one of the disciples or an observer watching the story unfold, as if you were watching a film.
Begin by sitting in a comfortable and upright position and close your eyes.
Take a deep breath in, hold it briefly….. and then let it out slowly…..do this five times. Let go of any tension you may be feeling in your body. Gradually let go of the things on your mind………. and sink into a relaxed and peaceful place of stillness.
Read: Matthew 28: 16-20 The Message
“Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshipped him. Some, though held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “ God authorised and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end to the age.”
I would like to invite you now to go on this journey with the disciples, as they travel to Galilee to the mountain that Jesus had set for their reunion………..
Imagine setting off from Jerusalem with them
What is the weather like?
What is the road like?
What can you see?
Take in as many details as possible.
How are the disciples, what is their mood?
Are they happy?
What are they talking about?
How do you feel as you journey with them?
Do they talk to you?
Do you talk to them?
As you climb the mountain how do the disciples feel?
How do you feel?
Suddenly you see Jesus.
The moment the disciples see him they worship him.
How do you respond?
Do you join in or do you hold back like some of the disciples?
Jesus comes to the disciples.
Who does he talk to?
What does he say?
How do the disciples respond?
Then he turns to you.
What do you want to say to him?
What does he say to you?
Listen as he speaks to the disciples.
“God authorised and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day, after day, right up to the end of the age.”
What does this command mean for you?
How is Jesus calling you to do this, in this season of your life?
Ponder on this for a moment or two.
Now, thank the Lord for His call to you and pray for His Spirit to fill you and guide you as you carry it out.