Guest Speaker: Brad East
This week we’re talking about Ascension Day. Before we get down to serious business, let’s have a little fun. Imagine Ascension Day became a holiday like Christmas or Easter, and people celebrated with parties and fun (extra-Biblical) traditions.
As a group, invent some Ascension Day traditions. What do people eat? What games do they play? What spectacles or events might people create to commemorate it? How would they decorate? Be creative!
Have you thought much about the ascension of Christ? What about this week’s sermon was interesting, challenging, encouraging or new?
To begin your reflection of the ascension, read together the texts with which Brad began his sermon: Luke 24:36-53 and Acts 1:1-12. But don’t just read for information. As you read together have group members imagine they’re actually there on the hill when Jesus ascends. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? How do you feel? Discuss your observations together.
The big question from this week’s message is this: Why is Jesus’ ascension important? What do you think?
Brad gave us several reasons for celebrating the ascension. Let’s run through them and ask some questions…
First, Brad said the ascension is important because it enables the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. What’s so good about that? How do you personally experience the Holy Spirit?
Brad said, “Jesus’ ascension, far from initiating Jesus’ absence from the world, is the beginning of a radical and intimate presence." Do you experience God as present? If so, share an example. If not, why might that be?
We learn through scripture that God is waiting to judge the world and fully usher in His kingdom. Why is that good news?
Post ascension, where is Jesus right now? What is he doing?
What does it mean that Jesus “intercedes” for us? Why is that good news?
Let’s lean into the truth that Jesus intercedes for us. Where do you need intercession in your life right now? Are you struggling to live up to God’s commands? Are you failing in a relationship? Share with your group, and pray together to God THROUGH JESUS (and by his power) for forgiveness and victory.
Consider the following depictions of the ascension. Pick one to meditate on. What do you see? What’s interesting or confusing or beautiful? Who's present? Who's absent? How does this image help you better understand the ascension?