Christians celebrate Ascension Day every year exactly 40 days after Easter, to echo the 40 days that Jesus stayed with his disciples after the Resurrection. During this time, he met with them, taught them, and opened their hearts to understand the Scriptures. Finally, the disciples witness him lifted up out of their sight as he returns to God.
Even though this feast doesn’t get as much attention as Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost, it is crucial to how we understand Jesus’ ministry of salvation. It is also the catalyst for the arrival of the Holy Spirit ten days later.
The Ascension marks the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, launching the church to take up the Jesus movement. Join us around the virtual table as we explore the joy-filled Ascension Day.
In this Easter season, we are continuing to travel through Jesus’ appearances to his disciples after his resurrection. Today’s story from Luke 24:36-48 follows immediately after two of the disciples meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus. As they are telling their friends about these amazing events, Jesus suddenly appears among them, saying, “Peace be with you.”
They are afraid, thinking they are seeing a ghost. But Jesus reassures them that he is truly alive. To prove it to them, he eats some food and shows them the wounds from his crucifixion. From there, he opens their minds to the Scriptures and speaks with them about his mission.
There is a lot to talk about in this story, from the meaning of peace, to the spiritual depths of an ordinary shared meal, to the fragile human hands carrying the promise of God’s life. Join us around the virtual table as we delve into this post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus.
Rich in tradition, the festival of Christmas brings hope and joy to the shortest, coldest days (at least here in the northern hemisphere!) But more than that, Christmas celebrates the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. This is the beginning of God’s great work of healing and redemption, of reuniting Heaven and Earth, God with God’s Creation. The Incarnation shows us both the love and the humility of God. Join us around the virtual table as we talk about Christmas and the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
How will you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? Please join the conversation! Add your reflections in the comments below or visit the Hope Canteen on Facebook and Instagram.
This week, we travel back to the book of Isaiah, one of the major prophets of the Old Testament. This section of Isaiah was written to a people newly returned from exile, but today’s passage also calls us forward to the coming of Christ. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus quotes it to announce the heart of his own mission when he begins his ministry. Join us around the virtual table as we talk about God’s hope-inspiring plans for us in Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 and the coming of Christ.
How does God call you to Jesus-style justice and reconciliation? Please join the conversation! Add your reflections in the comments below or visit the Hope Canteen on Facebook.