In Luke 24, the disciples stood dumbfounded, staring into heaven, wondering what was next, the words of Jesus ringing in their ears: “See, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” After a moment of disbelief, shock and grief, the disciples rejoiced and returned to Jerusalem “with great joy.”

They worshipped God as they waited, trusting that God would keep God’s promises, rejoicing and resting in God’s faithfulness. At the end of his Gospel, Luke reminds his community this isn’t the end of the story. Jesus rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and left his disciples with a promise. He reminded the community—us—that God keeps God’s promises even when it seems impossible.

As we celebrate the Ascension, we rejoice with hope in the glory of the risen Christ, not because all is well but because all is not well. We trust in God’s promises not because of our own faith or determination or strength, but because of God’s grace and faithfulness and promises to hold us always.

Excerpted from, “Audacious faith” by Hannah Hawkinson from the May/June 2022 issue.