Year A - Ascension or Our Turn to Witness
May 29, 2014
Ascension: Take 2
The details of Luke and Acts vary enough that, presuming the same author, all scripture can be said to be in the service of particularized settings and agendas. Scripture comments on scripture, such as the story of Sodom, and presents varying stories about the same event, such as Creation, Jesus’ last meal, Resurrection, Ascension, and the list goes on and on.
Without trying to reconcile the irreconcilable portions of scripture we look for where the variations may be pointing.
We noted yesterday that Luke’s version might be seen through the eyes of witnessing to a blessing still in process.
Acts doesn’t have the blessing motif. Here is didactic instruction: do this, then that, then the next. A word of witness comes after whatever an ascension might be in physics terms, rather than during it. It comes not from Jesus, but angelic messenger types.
The question raised was to move disciples on from their stupefying awe. Basically the message is to stop our mesmerized slacked-jaw gaze and get on with whatever it means to follow belovedness into the world.
Regardless of the setting and timing issues between Luke and Acts, the focus is taken off some future event of restoring political, military, economic power and is placed on the ever present opportunity to be grateful for having been blessed by passing the blessing on to make it larger and larger. This gratefulness is the motivation to move beyond the privileges of glory to the responsibilities of serving.
Ascension is to raise us to engage life. To limit it to Jesus does a grave injustice to his impetus to be a joy to the world. Workers of the world, Ascend!