I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. John 14:12
The hinge. It’s just a little piece of metal. Unobtrusive. Sometimes even concealed. It doesn’t draw attention to itself. But when it doesn’t work like it is supposed to, you certainly realise how important a role it plays. A door without a hinge is a wall. A gate without a hinge is a barrier that prevents you coming or going.
I realised that the other night when I heard the scrape of my son trying to push open the gate to take out the green bin to be collected the next morning. It has been on my ‘to do’ list for a few weeks but I just hadn’t found the time to get to the hardware store and purchase the new hinge to repair the gate.
But it got me thinking. There is something else that is just as unobtrusive that you have probably passed over it today without even giving it a second thought. But without this hinge, our lives don’t have purpose. With this hinge, our lives are opened up to new possibilities that have meaning and ongoing significance every day. It’s the spiritual hinge of the ascension which we celebrate today, 40 days after Easter.
Why is this day so important? It’s simply this. When God came down and made his home among us, born as a human being in a manger, he began his ministry here on earth. He came to live as one of us, to experience what we go through, to seek and save the lost, to be the gate through which people are saved and find fullness of life. That’s why he suffered and died, That’s why he was raised on the third day – to bring people into a restored relationship with God, That’s good news. But the news gets even better. After his resurrection, he spent time with his disciples before giving them a mission, blessing them and returning to the Father. At his ascension Jesus’ ministry from heaven began; a ministry as the living, reigning Lord who continues to work in this world to transform hearts and lives and bring them into communion with the Father. The ascension is the hinge which joins the incarnation of Jesus with Jesus’ ongoing mission in the world. It’s the event which opens wide the gate and invites us to participate in and be a part of what Jesus is still doing in the world today. Jesus is alive. He is still ministering to us, praying for us. He sends his Spirit to join us to his life, to share in his purpose and work, and to continue to do even greater things, as he works in and through us to bring people under his good and gracious rule.
The ascension…it may be a simple unobtrusive day. But it is the most beautiful hinge that opens a gate of blessing and allows us to go through and be his living presence at work in the world. What a privilege we have. What a purpose we share. What a blessing we can be! All because of the ascension hinge.
And before I forget… maybe it’s time to head to the hardware store to get a new hinge for my side gate.
Ascended Lord Jesus, you reign over all things. Thank you for opening up the way and inviting me to be a part of your ongoing presence and ministry in this world. Help me join in with great enthusiasm. Amen.