Whenever the Ascension of Jesus rolls around, my thoughts go to the lovely reflection on the Ascension that my friend and classmate, Pastor Rick Fry, posted on his blog a few years ago. This helps make the Ascension more meaningful for me, as I hope it does for you:
Sideways is the New Up
You lifted your nail pierced hands over the disciples,
and blessed them.
And as you blessed them you went up,
The crucified one was exulted
and glorified in heaven.
Yet heaven is where God is,
and God is where our neighbor is,
and our neighbor is behind us and in front.
to the left, right, diagonal, and sideways.
So sideways is the new up.
We discover your glorified presence
in the thickness of life around us.
And you trust us to carry on the mission that you began,
with a promise that we will be
clothed with power from on high.
It’s a power that we possess only by giving it away
for the sake of our sister and brother-
a power strong enough to stand with them,
deep in hurt and sorrow, in grief and longing,
in pain and sickness and doubt.
You trust us enough
to bless us for such work.