Psalms 8, 47 * 24, 96; Daniel 7:9-14; Hebrews 2:5-28; Matthew 28:16-20
What to say on a feast day like today, one that is not "observed" as universally as some others. I wonder if that is because we find this idea of the resurrected Jesus being taken up, bodily, to heaven more difficult to believe, let alone understand, then some of the other miracle stories we have in the Gospels? I have some friends who have admitted to me that they are embarrassed by this strand of our faith and would rather pretend that it simply wasn't part of our belief system. Yet, this is rather difficult to turn a blind eye to, as we say every Sunday For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven.....
Do we just not say that last little part? Or is it so familiar that we don't even hear it, or acknowledge that we are saying it? This is a part of our faith. And so is the "great commission" that Jesus issues in Matthew's Gospel today. We are instructed to Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And then Jesus gives us some assurance that helps me get through each and every day: I am with you always to the end of the age. Isn't that the most remarkable thing to hear? Jesus is always with us, walking with us, with open and loving and supportive arms. With that knowledge, doubts can and do fade to unimportance.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.