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Between Sundays for Week of May 13, 2024

The final chapter of the gospel of Luke describes Jesus’ ascension into heaven. As a meme I saw this week claims, Ascension marks the day Jesus began working from home.

Before he leaves, Jesus reminds the disciples: “You are witnesses of these things.” And now, Jesus says, it’s their turn. Their turn to help the world know that God loved this world – and each of us – so very much that God sent God’s son to embody love for us.

That’s a daunting thought, isn’t it? Most days, I would rather that God issue a back-to-the-office order, and bring Jesus back here to keep loving this world better than I ever could.

But in lieu of such a mandate, Jesus does not leave us without resources. As he says to his disciples, “You are witnesses of these things.And 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.” In other words, sit tight until I send the Holy Spirit. (That’s the subject of next week’s Pentecost celebration!)

But Jesus does something else before he disappears into the clouds: he blesses them.

Kate Bowler describes blessing in this way: “The act of blessing is the strange and vital work of noticing what is true about God and ourselves. And sometimes those truths are awful. Like, blessed are those who mourn. I mean, scripturally it’s true. Jesus said it. But does any of that feel true when our worlds are ripped to pieces? No. Or, blessed are the poor. Again, it doesn’t feel true at all. But in the act of blessing the world as it is and as it should be, we are starting to reassemble what we know. Maybe, God, you are here in the midst of this grief. Maybe, God, you can provide for this specific problem or be discoverable when I’m buttering this toast.” (The Lives We Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days, by Kate Bowler and Jessice Richie, Introduction, p. xix)

How have you been blessed by God and others? How will you share that blessing – in words, actions, or tangible signs – with others?

P.S. View the worship livestream on BLC’s YouTube Channel, or watch past services on the Share in Worship page of BLC’s website!

It’s time for a Preaching Party! Amy talks about her upcoming preaching conference and looks ahead  with Abby as we transition into the summer months! This is the last new episode until June 13, giving you plenty of time to catch up on previous episodes you may have missed!
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Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

Christ Has No Body

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.