Second Sunday of Easter – April 07, 2024

Posted on April 9, 2024, Pastor: Jean Wahlstrom

Sermons are preached within the context of a particular worship service, and are most meaningful when experienced in that way. We encourage you to view or listen to the entire worship service. 

April 7, 2024

Second Sunday of Easter

Acts 1:1-14
Mark 6:7-13

Worship Service Video Sermon Video Sermon  Audio

Sermon Text:

Jesus’ Ascension = 40 days after Resurrection.


Prayer – Gracious God, may we receive your Word with an open mind and heart, and a willing spirit to hear your call to each of us, to be Your witnesses until you return.  Amen.

Wow !  Last Sunday we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ!

All of a sudden – we’re at Ascension.  This  narrative series of readings has put us into a “time warp”.

Now, one  week later – here we are at his Ascension – which scripture says was 40 days later.  It will be happening for the rest of the world on May 9th!  But we get to hear about it in ONE WEEK.  Feels like a movie plot —  That’s a quick turn a round, eh?  Jump 32 days with me, ok?

In many parts of the world, it is a major celebration day with special services.

Originally, it was included in the Pentecost recognition but again, in the 4th century, the church leaders decided it needed its own special recognition.

So what do you think Jesus was doing during those 40 days?

Perhaps more Verification that the Resurrection actually happened.  They all had witnessed his death and suffering.  So important was this evidence, this testimony that Jesus truly was alive and well. However, did that really happen? Tell me again?  Show me your hands and feet again?  There’s his appearing to the two on the Emmaus road.

And then there’s Thomas…remember, he’s the disciple who just couldn’t get his head around the resurrection.  Jesus did what?  What did the women tell us?  He just wanted to see and experience for himself, Jesus in the flesh.  Some of us are like that, eh?

But we’re already at his Ascension, 40 days later.  Let’s take a closer look at our text for today.  It is important to understand the context of this event.  This text includes one of THE most important verses in scripture….I’ll tell you later as to “why”….

[Read Acts 1:1-14]

THE most significant verse in this whole text for me. One deserving of memorizing.


Why special?  It’s the last recorded words of Jesus.  Remember the last words of a loved one before they died?  The last time you were with someone?  It tells you something of the relationship with that person.

When my brother went to the hospital on Sunday, Dec 3rd, he was already not able to speak complete sentences or thoughts, but he could answer questions.  I will never forget his last words: “I want to go home.” To clarify, I said, do you mean Meridian where they were living at the time?  “no”.  Do you mean “heaven”?  Quickly and clearly, he said “YES”.  His last word was a resounding YES.  He was ready for his eternal home.

As followers of the Lord Jesus, we are called to serve as “witnesses” to our faith. To be a witness to Christ is to demonstrate by our words, actions and attitude the sacred mystery that we have “seen”, heard and believe in our hearts about the Lord who has forgiven us of our sins and offered us eternal life.

You know what a witness is and does!  We just redid our will; had to have two non-relatives to sign in order to validate and make it legal.  We’ve certainly heard enough on the news today about  “witnesses” and some now under threat to “tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.  They are used to give evidence, proof.

At a seminary graduation, the speaker said something that got everyone’s attention: “No forget all you learned and go out and tell them what you know.”  Not your knowledge, to know ABOUT Jesus, but to truly “know” Jesus – to be in relationship, to experience the power of the Holy Spirit enabling you to live.

To be a witness for Christ -That is our calling and vocation – every believer.

I believe that in my baptism at 3 weeks of age in the middle of a Minnesota winter, God empowered me to be a witness.  In case any of you are wondering what God is telling you to do today, tomorrow, etc., go be a witness.  It’s a lifelong career.  You may not get paid to do it, but it truly is our calling.

Exactly HOW to do that depends on each of us, to pray and think it through. It is up to us, individually and personally, depending on our gifts and personality.   To demonstrate by our words, actions and attitude the love of God, the Gospel of Good news that we are grace-filled and empowered people with a calling to serve.

AND the Where?  Jerusalem – our immediate relationships of family and friends and co-workers.  Judea and Samaria – perhaps King County and Washington state??

Ends of the earth? – some of us get that privilege as Marv and I did to teach in Tanzania.

But it doesn’t require you to GO.  I am reminded what my brother told me once.  He was an engineer for BOEING, making the wing struts – I asked him how his faith influenced his work.  “I need to make the best safest planes possible so you missionary-types can fly all over the world to tell others about Jesus.”  We were in partnership to be witnesses for Christ.

May these last recorded words of Jesus remind us how important we all are to God.

Whether in words or actions or attitude, we are sharing the love of God.  Let’s be the best witnesses we can be, in Bellevue, Seattle, etc.  We have been empowered by the Holy Spirit.  And each week, we get re-fueled in the Spirit-meal for our calling on earth –

Prayer –  Come, Holy Spirit.  Help us not to just stand, looking upward, waiting for your return.  Help us to trust you for when you will return, working for your kingdom, witnessing in every way we can.  AMEN.