For those preaching the Ascension this year, either on Thursday or on Sunday, the table is set.
Many of us will use the Ascension this Sunday, because Jesus’ leaving the Earth in his bodily form is a big part of the story. It is also a poignant and beautiful story. I find these readings very moving as I imagine myself as an apostle saying farewell, or a bystander watching this miracle and wondering, or as Jesus himself, desperately trying to impart all the wisdom he can before he can no longer look his friends in the eye or hold their hands.
The second reading from Ephesians picks up on that emotion of saying farewell, as Paul exhorts his readers to carry on in their faith in Christ Jesus. The place of Christ above all things is what Paul uses to keep the church united together.
But this is far more than a story of parting of friends. It is a new revelation of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is a new way of God being above all things AND in all things.
How does the Ascension narrative fit into the Easter story you have been telling and hearing this Easter season?