We place significance on someone’s last words. Often when someone dies those who are left behind remembers the last words of the deceased. Today we celebrate the ascension of Jesus. Even though this event is nothing like death but rather an amazing proof of his aliveness, we can still focus on His last words.
These words of Jesus are well known in Christian circles. Unfortunately, as the saying goes “familiarity breeds contempt”. So today I looked at the last words and attempted to see it with fresh eyes.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.””
The familiar part is the witnessing part, the empowerment with the Spirit part and the Greek word for power that we get our word dynamite from. Furthermore the fact that the story circles ever wider and farther is all familiar. What struck me afresh today, especially in the light of yesterday’s post – is the way in which this new kingdom of God will be furthered across nationalistic boundaries! With the well-known effects of colonialism worldwide it is a startling reflection that through the Holy Spirit the new kingdom will be an inclusive one.
Previous enemies (for Jews hated Samaritans and Gentiles) and those we thought were cursed by God will become family members. This truth hits hard for me as I reflect on the ravishing effect that Apartheid had on our country, it also opens up the immense possibility of what the future could hold for us as a country and for the ever shrinking globalized world we live in.
The Holy Spirit will not only help us to witness but also to expand our community to the nations – that excites me!