The Very Reverend Todd Donatelli

From Ascension to Pentecost: Living In-Between

Posted By Todd Donatelli on May 23, 2017

Jesus said to his disciples, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And 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.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

- Luke 24:44-53

“…so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Just as the followers of Jesus are beginning to recognize the Risen Jesus he once again leaves them; ascends from them. The Risen One tells them they are now to be the enfleshment of Jesus in the world and to wait in the city until they are clothed ‘with power from on high’. For nine days they will live in between; they will live in between the presence of the Risen One and the coming presence of the Spirit.

What does it take to live in between? Why are they asked to do so? Why not simply have the Spirit ascend as Jesus is ascending? What will they learn, experience, by being present this time of being in between?

How much of our lives is lived in between? We hear the phrase about God’s fullness, God’s realm, God’s kingdom being “already and not yet”—meaning both things are true: God’s life is fully present in and to us and we are not yet experiencing that fullness of God’s life in all the world about us. How many times do we experience being in between one place of life and another? What are the learnings and experiences of in between and why are we asked, like the disciples, to be present to the times of in between? How are they the path and learning for all of our life?

Linked below is a series of simple daily prayers from The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, designed to help us, like the early followers of Jesus, be present to these days from Ascension to Pentecost, designed to help us reflect upon what times of being in between proclaim to us.

Blessed days of being in between,

The Very Reverend Todd M. Donatelli, Dean of the Cathedral

Nine Days of Prayer 2017 (pdf file)