June 23rd, 2014 by Christopher Caudle
It seems to be a recurring experience. Astronauts from many countries describe looking at the earth from space, and share how that vision reshaped their point of view. Here is the testimony of two US astronauts.
“If somebody'd said before the flight, "Are you going to get carried away looking at the earth from the moon?" I would have said, "No, no way." But yet when I first looked back at the earth, standing on the moon, I cried. — Alan Shepard
The world itself looks cleaner and so much more beautiful. Maybe we can make it that way—the way God intended it to be—by giving everybody that new perspective from out in space. — Roger B Chaffee
But as they say, what goes up must come down. And while it is glorious to hear the testimony of explorers and adventurers, even the greatest return home to earth to live and share and thrill our minds and hearts with their words and images.
And now, after 40 days, the church celebrates the Ascension of Jesus Christ back to heaven. This is the highest a human being has ever gone. This is the most remarkable flight ever taken by the human race. This part of Jesus’ story profoundly affects our lives and our futures, but it is a well-kept secret even among disciples of Jesus. But Jesus’ ascension can reshape our perspective not only of him, but of us and our world.
A recent survey found that while over half of respondents believed in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, only a third believed in his bodily Ascension back into heaven. I suppose even smaller numbers would affirm that the Ascension makes much difference. And, being celebrated on a Thursday each year does little for attendance or our attention.
The Ascension of Jesus into heaven brings with it many, many blessings. Jesus said as much when he said that “in fact, it is best for you that I go away” (John 16.7) The Apostle Paul affirmed the benefits of Jesus’ ascension in Ephesians 4.4-8 and points to the key sequence of events that Jesus’ departure began.
This Sunday, we will see how Jesus ascension, his being “high and lifted up” is a guarantee of our present, our purpose and future. It also guides our preparation for the coming of the promised Holy Spirit.
So, come on Sunday ready to lift up your hearts to where Christ is.
See you Sunday,
It’s not too late to join us for ALPHA, beginning this Sunday morning with breakfast at 8:30, a short video lesson and discussion. You will be ready for church at 10:00. There is nursery and a children’s class available, so the family can attend.
Here is a short promo clip you might forward to a friend. They are welcome to come along. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_gVjWP94Eo&list=PLD0517D782591464D&index=20