Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Missing Ascension

I seem to remember Ascension Sunday in the church calendar of my childhood. I wonder when and why we decided not to celebrate it widely.

Is it because it's too close to the Elijah story, and thus we see it as allegorical? Is it because we don't know what to do with it? I often assume that's the case as holidays cycle off the church calendar. But I'd like to bring it back (while we're at it, let's do more with the idea of saints). I like the idea that we can ascend what troubles us.

I also think it gives us an important message that sometimes we have to wait. Sometimes it feels like we've been abandoned, but we really haven't. The Holy Spirit has been readying Pentecost for us.

My friend, ELCA minister David Eck, preached the Ascension text this past Sunday, and he blogged about it here. I'm going to end by quoting the last chunk of the outline that he posted:

"VI. So what do we learn from today's gospel lesson?

I hope it is the good news that
---The power of the Holy Spirit is available to all of us
---To guide, to heal, to encourage, to strengthen.

However, we do not always receive this power instantaneously.
---Sometimes we have to endure whirlwinds and fires
---Before we receive a double portion of God's Spirit.

Sometimes we have to wait
---Until we are 'clothed with power from on high'
---Just like those first disciples

It's not easy to wait
---But we are sometimes called to wait nonetheless
---Knowing that Jesus will help us to ascend
---The trials and tribulations of life

So wait patiently, pray expectantly
---And trust that the Ascended Christ
---Will fill us richly with the power of the Holy Spirit
---In order that we may ascend whatever challenges or roadblocks
---We are currently facing."

Amen. Come, Triune God.

No comments: