Celebrating Ascension Day?

Jun 03rd 2011

Lynn and I took a drive yesterday.  A day off, and beautiful weather deserve a good drive through the green hills of PA.  The driving plan had us going through Belleville on the way home, with a stop at Peachey’s greenhouse.  Don’t ask me why we need more plants, flowers or mulch of any kind, but we do.

Only problem?  Everything Amish was closed for the day and in Belleville everything Amish is most everything.  Ascension Day.  ascension1That’s right the Amish close shop for Ascension Day.  Ascension Day is a work-holiday.  My first thought?  “Ah come on, can’t you come up with a better way to take a day off?”  My second thought?  “But the Amish aren’t known for their lazy ways, so Ascension Day must carry weight with them.  My third thought?  “I need to think about Ascension Day.”

Then I remembered a seminar put on by David Bryant.  He said something like this,

We live in an age of crises, but one crisis trumps them all. It’s engulfing the American church.  It’s a crisis of Christology.  I sometimes call it a crisis of supremacy.  But there is hope.  A cure exists.  It can be found in a fresh revelation among God’s people of the profound Biblical teaching on the ascension our Lord Jesus.

See here’s the deal.  We focus much on the incarnation at Christmas.  The cross and resurrection get our attention at Easter.  But incarnation and resurrection encircling the cross is only part of the story — 2/3’s at best.  There is also the ascension.  Jesus ascended into heaven.

The ascension tells us who Jesus is today.  The ascension tells us where Jesus is today.  The ascension tells us what Jesus is doing today.  Who is he?  Jesus is the Lord of Heaven and earth, the Ruler of all nations, the King of the Universe, and the Head of the Church.  Where is he?  Jesus is seated at the right hand of the throne of God, a position of authority and power.  What is he doing?  Besides ruling, Jesus is interceding, praying, speaking to the Father on our behalf.  David Bryant writes,

Jesus — ascended — holds the answer to all our prayers and the fulfillment of all God’s promises — whether for an individual, a church, a nation, or ultimately all of creation.

Jesus.  King.  Christ.  Messiah.  All power and authority has been given to him.  He has the name that is above all other names.  Right now at this very moment Jesus is King over all of the earth’s president’s, prime ministers, kings, military leaders, and tribal chiefs.  And in his time, through his means, by his strategies, he is leading not just the events of my life, but the events of the world toward his glorious purposes.

Now that’s worth a day off.