Today’s the 40th day of Easter, Ascension Day.
According to theologian N.T. Wright, we ought to make a bigger deal of it.
—What happens when you downplay or ignore the ascension? …the church expands to fill the vacuum.
—Get the ascension right, and your view of the church, of the sacraments, and the mother of Jesus can get back into focus.
—To embrace the ascension is to heave a sigh of relief, to give up the struggle to be God (and with it the inevitable despair at our constant failure), and to enjoy our status as creatures: image-bearing creatures, but creatures nonetheless.
—At no point in the gospels or Acts does anyone say anything remotely like, “Jesus has gone into heaven, so let’s be sure we can follow him.” They say, rather, “Jesus is in heaven, ruling the whole world, and he will one day return to make that rule complete.