A sermon on the Ascension of Christ, the “present tense” of the gospel, from the texts for Year C in the Revised Common Lectionary (Acts 1:1-11; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53).
The good news of the Ascension
The ascension of Jesus can seem a bit weird to us today. We don’t share the cosmology of those who first told this story, and thus we find it a bit odd to imagine Jesus floating upward into the sky. Some have gone so far as to mock the ascension with the epithet “Spaceman Jesus”.
But this is unnecessary. “Ascension” is symbolic language. For Jesus to be “taken up into heaven” doesn’t mean vertically upwards toward outer space, it means to be taken into God’s realm (“heaven”) as king of the whole universe. Jesus hasn’t moved to another location in the cosmos, but rather has moved into heaven (which overlaps and interlocks with “earth” in a variety of ways).
The good news, then, of ascension is that Jesus the Human One is Lord of the whole cosmos right now, and he rules by sharing his power with us, his body the church, authorizing us to bear witness to his lordship in every place where his kingdom hasn’t been fully manifested.[Continue reading] about The Ascension is the Present Tense of the Gospel