Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Feast of the Ascension

Today we celebrate the ascension of Jesus into Heaven.  Some churches will celebrate this feast day this Sunday.  I suspect that many of our churches will let the festival slip by uncelebrated at all.

Imagine this time period from Holy Week to Ascension from the point of view of those first disciples: traipsing around Galilee, crucifixion, and then resurrection. They’ve just gotten their beloved messiah returned, and then, poof, he's gone again. What a whipsawed feeling they must have had.

And now for a more important leap of imagination:  what does this feast day say to us?

I've addressed this very question in my latest blog post which is up at the Living Lutheran site.  Go here to read it.

Here are some quotes to whet your appetite:

"Just like the first followers, just like Jesus, we don't get to stand around waiting for our chance to go to heaven. There's work to be done on earth. The coming Sundays of the time after Pentecost remind us that we’re not put on earth to wait to die. We are here to be part of the ultimate redemption of creation. Jesus began that work. We are here to further it along, at least as much as we can during our very short time here."

"We don’t want to get to the end of our time here, only to be asked, 'Why did you stand there slack-jawed and idle, when there was so much work to do?'” 

"I love that language: clothed with power from on high – how would we behave if we truly believed we had been clothed with power from on high?"

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