Ascension Day

This was once one of the big feast days. It is, after all, the completion of the crucifixion and the resurrection. Jesus Christ returns to the Father, and promises to send His Holy Spirit. He sends out His disciples to preach love and resist evil. he will come again. But because it falls on a weekday, we don’t keep the festival anymore. The traditional lessons are Acts 1.1 following to the passae “Ye men of Galilee…” and the end of the Gospel of Mark, beginning at 16.14. look them up; they are exciting in the context of Ascension. And while you’re there, if you are using the Canadian Book of Common Prayer (not the BAS, mind) have a look at the Epistle for the Sunday after Ascension Day, because you won’t see the lessons in church: 1 St. Peter 4.7: The end of all things is at hand.

The Ascension of Christ begins the end times. We have been in them for two thousand years and a little more. Peter admonishes: Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves…

God does not intend to desert His creation. Christ will come again, in glory, and the world will be surprised, despite the two thousand years past of being told to get ready. As in the days of Noah…

Bishop N.T. Wright writes in his book Surprised by Hope that God’s intention, as made clear in scripture is not to translate all the saved to heaven, some ethereal place where we will dwell as spirits, but to transform creation, perfect it to what it was emant to be, and us with all.  God has intentions as to when this will happen, but has not chosen to tell us, because there will be work to do right up to the end. Every act of charity, every quiet witness to the Word, every prayer, is in support of the coming Kingdom.

It is not just to humans that we witness. Our acts of charity- spiritual love in Christ – are extended to all creation. “What you have done for the least of these, you have done for Me,” Our Lord said, and that extends down to the soil, the plants, the animals. We are part of creation, and God has always intended us to work beside Him in the divine Garden, just as Adam and Eve did, before their serious blunder.  When we are mindful of our place on this God-created planet, and walk carefully upon its face, we are honouring He who made it.

“Crhist has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.” Let’s not be found napping.


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