Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 29th May 2022: The promise that is to come

Holy Spirit God Ascension Isaiah 44

Reading : Verses from Isaiah, Chapter 44

Jesus Ascension

But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
Thus says the Lord who made you,
who formed you in the womb and will help you....

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground.
I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
and my blessing on your offspring....

Do not fear, or be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
There is no other rock; I know not one.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


The festival of Ascensiion sends shivers up my spine - not for the right reasons - but because it reminds me of when I was writing five books called 'The Sermon Slot' for SPCK, based on the two year, and then the three year Lectiionary of readings. I always left the hard subjects to the end, and with a deadline of a couple of days would get left with Ascension Day and the First Sunday after Ascension, with the same readings! I would be up all night desperately trying to find something interesting to say! With God's help something would emerge! (You will see I am still procrastinating today!)

So today I want to look at the words of Isaiah, a book of prophecy probably written by three different people. Isaiah II is the author of chapters 40-55, and he writes at the end of the exile when the people had been conquered by Babylon, but in 539 BCE were allowed to return. So his words come from five hundred years before Jesus. Yet here we have the prophet proclaiming that God will give His people the blessing of His Spirit.

As Jesus leaves his disciples at the Ascension he promises to send the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit of God they can do nothing, and it is the same for us. We are like ships without a rudder going nowhere. But God promises to 'pour' His blessings on His people - to give overflowing blessings to those who are thirsty! The question is how thirsty are we?


Lord God,
You have been with Your people
since time immemorial,:
with Isaiah in Babylon,
with the disciples in Galilee,
and with us this day.
You offer us the blessings
of Your Holy Spirit.
May we turn to You
and ask for that blessing
this day.

Follow Up Thoughts

For those wanting to do some serious thinking about the Ascension, then this article would be worth reading:

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