“Ascension Day”

Luke 24:50-53

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

I have been thinking more about yesterday.  40 days after Easter Sunday Christians around the world celebrated Ascension Day, the day Jesus publicly ascended or went up to heaven. That was this Thursday, yesterday. It is often pictured as Jesus floating up in a cloud as if he left us.  The writer Luke, continues his account in Acts and adds the fact that afterwards, two men, possibly angles, then appeared and told the followers that Jesus would return in the same way as he was seen leaving.  We live with one of those tensions like God’s sovereignty and people’s free will, or faith and works.  Both are true and we hold them in tension.  My husband would say, faith by mystery not management.  What we do know is that Jesus is eternal, is God and is not walking the earth now with followers gathering.  We have the Holy Spirit guiding within us. 

So, what is the big deal?  The Ascension confirms that Jesus did not suddenly recover from the crucifixion to die again even as Lazarus was raised but Lazarus died again.  Died to die again is another story people believe.  Jesus rose to live forever.  God forever took on humanity.  Ascension is a necessary affirmation that Jesus, the God/Man is alive representing us in the Godhead.

As we think today of the Holy Spirit interceding for us or of Jesus representing our humanity within God, what comes to your mind.  I think how God must be grieving with those impacted by the gun violence of others seeking to impose their will.  Perhaps list five examples of how Jesus’ humanity touches the heart of God e. g. the birth of a child, the death of the children in Uvale, the separation of families at the border or ???  Spend time praying about each issue practically.  Be sure to choose an issue close to your heart too.

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