Luke 24:44-53 (NRSV)
Verse 44Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you-that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." Verse 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, Verse 46and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, Verse 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Verse 48You are witnesses of these things. Verse 49And 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."
Verse 50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. Verse 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. Verse 52And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; Verse 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
The promises that we read in Acts at the beginning of the week are heard again today’s gospel reading: “You will be my witnesses and you will receive power from on high.”(48-49) But there is more. Jesus opened their minds to understand. Jesus blessed them. And the disciples’ response was to worship him. This past Palm Sunday, as the children were vigorously waving their palms, singing, and shouting “Hosanna!,” it dawned on me how much they were witnesses to the power of the Holy Spirit in our worship, even though perhaps not fully aware of the impact they were making on those around them. The children’s understanding of what it was all about may have been limited. Yet they were witnesses of the joy given to us by God in Jesus. These children were worshiping at their own ability and were blessing God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we too are given the understanding that we need, such that we may be witnesses to God’s work and presence among us.
Gracious God, you have promised through Jesus to give us power from on high to witness to your love and care for all creation. Bless us as we seek to do so. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.