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Looking Upward?

Today (Thursday, May 9) is the Feast of the Ascension, the day Jesus ascended to glory at the right hand of God the Father. This day is the bookend to Christmas Day when Jesus became incarnate on Earth as a newborn baby. Luke tells us "Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them.While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven." 

This is an upward looking feast. During the heights of the pandemic in Virginia, my church had an outdoor Ascension Eucharist at Gravelly Point. Some of you may know this spot as a public boat launch at the end of the runway of Reagan National Airport. Every time a plane took off over our heads, we looked up! But should we be looking up? A poem by Steve Garnaas-Holmes has us see it another way:

The Ascension is not about 

Jesus's body rising above the earth, 

but about Jesus expanding beyond his body. 

He didn't go up, he went out. 

Into all of us. 

The disciples stand there, 

almost ready to believe 

(they won't until Pentecost) 

that the body is not there but here:

we are the body, 

the body of the risen Christ. 

See that way. Act that way. Love that way.

 And I will add: Dance that way, too, for you are a wondrous Body of Christ.

Mother Nina+


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