Today is the day in the church that we celebrate that Christ has ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.
There is an interesting geography to this day. Jesus rose from the dead and was with his disciples for forty days. He witnessed to them of his resurrection and showed them all these things took place as promised in the Scriptures.
Jesus then gave the disciples the expectation that they would be his witnesses to all the world.
They are are told to go and be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the very ends of the earth. This promise is filled with an ever expanding sense of community that does not build our own identity in a tribe but more our identity in Christ.
Ascension Day is also a revelation that Jesus has pioneered for us the way to the Father. Through Jesus we find the full intention of humanity revealed. Jesus has come into the created world. He has experienced the reality of living in a fallen world. He has redeemed us from our sin. He has restored to us the vision of what it means to be in a relationship with our heavenly father.
The ascending of Jesus to the right hand of the Father is a good work of Jesus for all of us. Jesus pioneered the path back to the Father so that we can all know that in our humanity we find welcome with the Father. The pioneer work of Jesus shows us the path to the Father is open for all of us through our faith in Jesus.
Through Jesus you are welcomed by the Father. Not just in a faraway relationship but in the very nearness of being at the right hand of God.
In Jesus we are at the Father’s right hand. In Jesus we are going to the very ends of the earth.
I feel a little like Grover playing the near and far game. Jesus is always with us. As we are near and far, he is never away. The promise of Ascension Day is filled with the both/and reality of being with Jesus.