The bell is ringing, calling people to worship this Ascension Day. I am trying to finish a chapter on expectations: Jewish expectations of deliverance at the time of Jesus, the gospels’ depiction of an expectant people, and the expectations of both Christians and Muslims in the frightening world of today.
Christians and Muslims (and everyone else) need expectations, because we all need to have hope of peace and justice and security, and we all need to find meaning for our own struggles in the context of the larger flow of history and of God’s purposes.
Christians and Muslims share the expectation that Jesus will return to put things right. But we have different expectations of how He will do that – especially of how He will put right peoples’ views of who He is. Will He ‘break the cross’, or will ‘every knee bow’ to Him as Lord?
After my ‘dark’ reflection yesterday, my Bible reading for today began, ‘When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ Today, I am going to listen to the voice speaking to the disciples as Jesus left this earth, ‘This same Jesus . . . will return.’ I am going to follow Him in His light, and find hope and meaning in His lordship of history.