I had him standing on a cloud and the cloud had wings. And Jesus was smiling. I suppose I could’ve put a sad face but I wasnt much of an artist then. And I am still not now.
It has always been a question for theologians and Christians in general as to how Jesus actually ascended to heaven. Did he go up fast like a rocket? Or did he just drift away into the heavens?
In the Orthodox Church one icon has Jesus sat on a cloud with his feet dangling over the edge like he was on a parade float. The truth is, we dont know how. It is intentionally a mystery for all of us to ponder and to wonder and most importantly, to believe! And what we believe is that He ascended to his Father because His job was complete and he chose to share his Ascension with us in order to once again, show us, the way!
Where He ascends, we will too. He goes to the Father and so we will we. This is His promise. As the prayer puts it today, that we might be confident of following Him heavenward.
So remember, today, for us who believe in Jesus and who know Him and Love Him, the only way is UP!!!
And it is a great grace for us have a God who cares so much for us that he wants to be sure we are going in the right direction.
So easily we get lost. We get lost in all the wrong things, we get lost in ourselves, we get lost in sin, we get lost in the world.
This past year, there are many times when ive wondered if Im really going UP! Coronavirus has been a real downer! The pandemic has taken its toll on us all. But through it all Jesus has been pointing us heavenwards and that is what we celebrate today.
So do not be discouraged, do not feel as though no one is looking out for you. We are being sent into the world to bring Jesus to the world .
Our reassurance that we are on the right path, are the signs Jesus mentions today:
We will drive out demons, speak new languages, pick up serpents with our hands, drink deadly things and lay hands on the sick and they will be cured if we are on the right path and going in the right direction, we can expect some, if not, all of that.
Do we not drive out demons when we repay a persons rudeness with a word of kindness?
Are we not learning to speak new languages as we grapple to make good use of social media?
It’s a whole new way to communicate. For example, Facebook is useful but does it constitute communication?
Do we not pick up serpents with our hands as we learn to deal with each other? We are not always cuddly, are we?
And as for the deathly drink.... i don’t think it refers to the extra glass of wine we had last night.
We imbibe regularly, lots of harmful, negative vibes, opinions and much of it is lies. Stuff which is harmful.
But we are still here, and we are still standing and able to sing God’s praises today as we cast our sights heavenward.
These signs tells us we are going in the right direction.
Just remember this: the only way is UP! And we will be okay.
Father Jeremy Thomas, Pastor