From Libby Hawkness-Smith, Chaplaincy Administrator:
In many churches around the world, Christians are celebrating the Ascension of the Lord today, the day when we the end of Christ’s ministry on Earth and His return to Heaven. Most consider the awe of God, that He reigns on high in Heaven and that He oversees all the earth from His position in power. Few think about the effect on the disciples at Ascension. It must have been pretty lonely in some ways when Jesus returned to Heaven. He was no longer around to perform amazing miracles or to share simple thought-provoking times with His friends. The Holy Spirit hadn’t yet arrived, and the disciples were probably feeling a little desolate. What would they do now?
In many ways, we can feel the same. After a mountain-top high, there is nowhere else to really go. Life is not as exciting as those moments on retreat or when God is acting in a very clear and visible way. We have to return to ‘life’, and yet, in the words of a very elderly friend of mine, ‘we want to die. We want to go to Heaven and see our friends. It’s so much more vivid up there’. What a contrast from the times that have gone before! Yet we can’t always live in a spiritual fever, we need to be grounded on earth so that we can be of use to those around us and allow ourselves to be victoriously used by God.
It can be hard to keep on keeping on, to continue plodding the earth and follow in the direction that we have been going for however long. Yet it is extremely important to remember that this is not the end, that there are several peaks on this trail we’re walking and that we will again see the glory and majesty of God, just like the disciples did at Pentecost. In the meantime, we keep listening to God and looking out for that glimmer in the distance, the glint of things to come.
“The Lord reigns; He is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure”. Psalm 93:1