So many people I know "draw the line" at Ascension Day.... well just before Ascension Day. They say they believe other parts of the Gospel story but not this particular piece of Jesus' story. This bodily ascension of our resurrected Jesus into heaven is just too outrageous for them to accept. When I run up against this kind of argument, I find myself being saddened, because by putting tight parameters around what we will or will not, or can and cannot believe, we are limiting God's presence in our lives. By doing this limiting, we are looking out a window, observing, but not participating.
Doubts are one thing, disbelief another. By falling into the latter we miss Jesus' final instructions to his disciples which we have in Matthew's last chapter today: Go and make disciples of all nations.....I am with you always......
Just as the whole of Jesus ascended into heaven, so all are invited into this kingdom he has opened for us. Perhaps that symbolism of Jesus' whole being ascending into heaven is a linchpin upon which we can understand the fullness of God's love for each one of us....a completeness to the invitation that all are welcome, all invited.
I think we are invited to take down those barriers we erect around ourselves this Ascension Day and allow the completeness that is God's love for us to envelope us.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.