Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ascension Day

Today is 40 days after the joyous celebration of Easter.  Forty days have passed since we heard the wonderful news that death could not keep Jesus in the ground; the tomb where he was laid is miraculously empty.  Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension, Jesus' return to God's eternal Kingdom.  Along with Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and All Saints' Day, the Ascension is one of the seven principal feast days of the Church.
When you go to the Holy Land, there is a little silo-looking building.  It sits on the Mount of Olives, facing Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley.  Several thin taper candles provide the only light.  At the very center of the building is a place in the floor that is marked off by a border.
Inside the boundary, like a picture in frame, is the impression of a single bare foot.  Legend has it that this foot is no ordinary foot, however.  Tradition has it that this footprint is all that Jesus left behind as He ascended into heaven to take His place in glory at God’s right hand.
We have the scene depicted so beautifully for us in the window above our Altar here at Trinity.  You can see both the fear and the reverence of the moment.  One can feel the utter dismay of Jesus’ followers as He leaves them yet again.  No doubt they thought that Jesus was here to stay.  That He would stick around this time.
The message of the Ascension is clear.  It’s up to us now.  We are called to carry on Jesus’ mission and ministry.  You and I are to go forth into the world to as Christ’s heart and hands.  We may be the only Bible a friend reads . . . the only way a family member encounters God’s love in Jesus.

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