a cheerful little ascension sermon for terrible disciples
I sure hope you are right about Jesus’ blessings for all. I struggle to believe, and I wonder about miracles and church and who Jesus really was, is. I care about folks who have rejected church. I love them and want them to know the blessings and the love that I hope is the real message of God for everyone, for all of us. My wondering and beliefs keep changing. I hope He is still blessing me. My God box keeps opening, closing, and changing shape. Sometimes I wonder what is real? Is Spirit real? Is Jesus real? Is God real? Church is hard, I’m not sure it is right for me. But I hope for blessing. I hope what is true makes itself evident for everyone!
„Blessed are those who no one else notices. The kids who sit alone at middle-school lunch tables. The laundry guys at the hospital. The sex workers and the night-shift street sweepers.“
This hit me.
Yes, this is Jesus. He sees.
Thank you, Nadia. 🕊️
Blessed are you for having reflected on and written this beautiful reminder.🤗
Thank you, Nadia.
Blessed are you for carrying the Word to the wobbly, the confused and to people like me.
I’m full of doubt but deeply feel the need to believe. Your plain talk sermons make me think, and I am grateful to you.
Blessed are you, Nadia, for showing us your warts. Also, blessed are the bakers at Crumbl - and all bakers, for that matter - because they bring joy in pastry form.
Thank you for your insight which is always a blessing. So often I finish reading what you write and think, “It’s okay to be me, for I’m so loved by God, despite my faults and failings” Thank you God for Nadia!
Nadia, my life doesn't mirror yours, but OMG, I so often share how you experience life, even at 73. I say this not to discourage you, but to commiserate and say, in it's own way it's OK, and that's what you've captured with this sermon. Perhaps you might find something in the Children's Word that I offered today at the church I attend, Seekers Church:
1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Jesus, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?"
1:7 He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that God has set to restore Israel.
1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
1:9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
1:10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.
1:11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."
I confess that for me this is a difficult passage, and this is only part of it. It seems to me that as younger people, you may have some trouble figuring out what it means that Jesus was resurrected – came back from the dead – and now he suddenly disappears in a flash to heaven.
Thinking about this reminded me that when I first tried to understand the Resurrection, what made sense to me was that Jesus was resurrected in me. And suddenly, for me at least, this story of Jesus’ Ascension to heaven was the next step in really breathing in the spirit of Jesus into my own body. If Jesus is in heaven, and heaven is all around us, then we are breathing in Jesus into our real bodies with every breath of life we take.
That reminded I could tell you a story that might help you. How many of you remember Pat? Pat brought you the Children’s Word many times, and if you’re like me, you miss Pat. I can feel Pat’s presence with me right now. Pat was so smart, and smart about many things. One of those things was science of all kinds. One day when I was having some struggles around my faith he told me that the air we breathe is the same air that Jesus breathed! That helped me to understand that in some very important ways that I really am Jesus’ hands and feet in the world.
It wouldn’t surprise me if you doubted this story, but you can look it up on the internet! There you’ll learn “not only do we each have hundreds of billions of atoms that were once in everyone else's bodies, but we have approximately 1 atom in our body from every breath that every human has ever taken.”
So, my prayer for all of you is that every minute of every day, especially the hard days and minutes, you remember that heaven is inside of you, and you will be comforted.
Let’s pray together: Dear God, please help each of us remember that you are truly in us and with us every minute of every day of our lives. May it be so.
Thank you for helping me feel embraced by god because of my doubts and foibles. I’m tired and sad today so your sermon was perfect!
Cheerful indeed. I found myself dipping into a book of Christian apologetics for a hot minute the other day and then realized this guy thought it was all founded on how sinful we were. Now we're full of bad impulses -- but he's got it backward. Jesus/the Christ is about love and at worse loving us out of our selfish nastiness. Threw out the book. :-)
Fucking spectacular. Thanks for making me feel okay to say that. 😄
Not to put any pressure on you, I mean, because it is just me but in recent times your sermons are saving my heart, if not my soul and more. Bless you back.
This is my favorite scripture to read, listen to or to watch. It always moves me to tears. People gathered around him from very poor to very sick. He blesses them all, acknowledge them all. Your suffering has been heard. Your faith has been seen. “Thy will be done on Earth as in Heaven”
Thank you Nadia. I had never before made the connection between Jesus lifting up his hands and blessing the disciples [and probably Mary Magdalene too since we have learned lately that she was probably Mary of Bethany (ask Diana Butler Bass if you don’t know what I am referring to)] and the fact that in all the paintings and murals and stuff from the early church Jesus is always lifting up his hand. Now I know that he is blessing us in those paintings. Just like he has never ceased to bless since then. We gotta remember that when our Subaru has issues. (I have one too and it’s almost 20 years old and still going strong.)
I understand what you say when you say, “54 and I still find much of life baffling “ I am 71 and feel the same. Yet when I read the daily devotional, By Faith Alone by Martin Luther or the psalms, I find that I have solid ground under foot for a bit. Jesus is my foundation in a way that nothing else is.
"Blessed are the unemployed."
Amen. Thank you... Thank you...