Ascension Day – What is it all about?

by Christine Sine
Ascension - Jesusmafa

Ascension – Jesusmafa

May 29th we celebrate Ascension day.  What on earth is this you may ask?  This is not a celebration that I grew up with, nor is it one that I have taken much notice of. It is not a celebration that most of us outside liturgical churches have ever heard of or ever really celebrated, but it is very important and I would highly recommend that you consider incorporating it into your worship cycle. I tend to think of this as a Catholic celebration and so was amazed therefore at the beautiful and enriching prayers I came across from many different traditions and thought that I would share some of them with you.

The fortieth day after Easter Sunday is a day of great significance as we celebration the ascension of Christ into heaven. It is also and, in some ways more importantly, a celebration of  the new creation that Jesus’ resurrection brought into being.  What beautiful imagery to carry with us for the rest of the season until Pentecost (June 8th). It seems such an appropriate celebration for those of us who are interested in sustainability and creation care.

I used this as the focus of my reflection last year Ascension Day is Coming: Celebrate the New Creation and found myself revisiting this imagery as I thought about Ascension Day this morning. Ascension day is a day of hope and promise. The ascended Lord will return to judge that which is broken and unjust. He will return as leader in a glorious future. in which he will abolish injustice, end suffering, destroy death and set up God’s new world of truth, righteousness and love. 

Because Jesus ascended  and sits at the right hand of God,

a new world has broken into ours –

a world in which justice does come for the poor,

freedom comes for the prisoners,

and healing for the sick.

Because Jesus ascended  and sits at the right hand of God,

 a new community has been formed –

a community that loves and cares for all members,

a family that welcomes all who are abandoned and rejected,

a place where all find a place of belonging.

Because Jesus ascended  and sits at the right hand of God,

a new creation has begun – 

all that was distorted is being restored,

all that is corrupted is being renewed,

all that was broken is being made whole.

Because Jesus ascended  and sits at the right hand of God,

God’s new world has begun. 

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