Today is the Feast of the Ascension of Christ.
Really. Doesn’t the entire concept just blow the mind?
Well, it does mine, anyhow. Now, I have written before about this, and how it kind of always boggles my mind. Because I am a visual kind of gal, I always get stuck in the imagining of this event, in the unimaginable visuals. My mind wants to do a whole movie panorama on it, more old Cecil B DeMille flicks, less Spielberg…but I digress. My point is that I can get all hung up in trying to SEE this, visualize and understand it….which of course totally misses the point. As usual.
But there are two cool parts to this that I could spend the rest of my life meditating upon, and in fact it would surely do me much good. I won’t, but I should.
The first part is the whole concept that Jesus went to prepare a place for us. He went to get things ready for us, at HOME. Home. Not our current abodes, apartments, houses, condos…but our true home. And that is with Him, eternally, in heaven (I hope and pray). I mean, how cool is that?? I don’t know about you, but I’m not the greatest hostess on the planet. I failed Martha Stewart 101. I have to write post-its to remember to put nice folded towels in the guest bath. But here, the God of the Universe, of everything, is heading off to prepare a place for us! Now I don’t know what that entails in heaven and all, but even still, he’s already on the details and is prepping with each of us in mind. Really, how cool is that?
I know I know, this is really talking about bigger picture stuff, but even so, God is in the details too and you know it. Ever looked at the marbling in granite?? Or the marbling in marble? Huh? Stared into a tiger lily? Don’t tell me that God doesn’t pay attention to the tiny details…so I can marvel that Christ left the apostles, ascended even (another spectacular detail), to go and prepare a place for us, the best place: Home. Ahhhhh……joy.
The second part of this very cool event, this mind tripping visual, is that this ascension also signified a new and different status for the apostles…which of course trickles right down to us, to me. He said to them that he would go, but he would send the Holy Spirit and then they were going to be sent too. Out. To witness. To tell the world about this wild amazing truth, this mind blowing love. That it was real. He let those apostles SEE him ascend, not just fade away like the Cheshire Cat with his grin the last to go…
Nope, Christ ascended as they watched (and surely, gaped and pointed, nudged and grabbed each other and held out their hands and maybe both laughed a bit and cried a bit too). But certainly they had to be electrified; how could you not? Surely, this very change from followers of the earthly bodily Jesus to witnesses was facilitated by this ascension. I mean, literally, they witnessed it. They witnessed it all: yeah, the ascension, but also Christ himself on earth, his miracles, his passion, his resurrection, his heart, his voice, his smell, his smile.
They knew him, like the world could not.
And thus they were the first, sent out with a bang – a spectacular electric jolt – to bring that excitement to everyone. Big job, but then again, big cool. Much to think about with this day….
O King of Glory,
Lord of Hosts,
Who didst this day ascend in triumph
above all the heavens!
Leave us not orphans,
but send upon us the Spirit of Truth,
promised by the Father.
The Liturgical Year: Book 9