Ascension Day (dating back to 68)

Today is Ascension Day! It is one of the earliest Christian festivals, dating back as early as the year 68.*

According to the teachings of the New Testament Scriptures, Jesus Christ met several times with his disciples during the 40 days after his resurrection so he could teach them about life in the Kingdom of God. On the 40th day, he took them to the Mount of Olives, where they watched as he ascended to heaven to reign as Lord of all. This day also symbolizes the end of the Easter season, and takes place ten days before Pentecost.

Today, pause and celebrate that Jesus is Lord. Ascension Day reminds us that no world power can overtake the Father’s promise. Ascension Day reminds us that no impossibility is impossible for God. Ascension Day reminds us that no matter how unstable our society becomes the light of King Jesus can guide our feet to the path of peace where HIs joy can be our strength. In and by the Lord Jesus, God has entered into our suffering, embodied our sorrow, and enabled our salvation. We are citizens of a kingdom that isn’t frail, is never fickle, and will not fail. Capitol Hill can never outdo Calvary’s Hill and the Pentagon will never possess the power of what came to us in Pentecost.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son,” and He has been exalted as Lord of all.

For God so loved and still loves, that He loves you without caution or restraint; He loves you without boundaries or limits; He loves you beyond your inadequacies or failures and beyond worthiness or unworthiness; He gave His one and only Son to prove it and to show us what love looks like with skin on. For God so loved, and He can’t stop. His love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. God’s love will never fail because Jesus is Lord.

See you all Sunday,

Fred


* According to Augustine of Hippo, the Feast of Ascension originated with the Apostles. John Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa, contemporaries of Augustine as you may recall, refer to it as being one of the oldest feasts practiced by the Church, possibly going as far back as AD 68. There is no written evidence, however, of the Church honoring Ascension Day until Augustine’s time in the fourth century. Cf. Laura Holt, “Inquisitiones Januarii, Ad,” in: Augustine through the Ages: An Encyclopedia, ed. by Allan D. Fitzgerald (Grand Rapids, Mich: William B. Eerdmans, 1999), 452.
** Ascension Day is not a federal public holiday in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is a public holiday in some countries, including: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, FranceGermany, Indonesia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Vanuatu.

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