The Feast of the Ascension
Today is the Feast of the Ascension. It is the day when we celebrate the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven, or back to the Father/Mother.
I have been doing a lot of reading about what is going on in my church—The Episcopal Church. I am trying to understand what is happening and trying to grasp the complexities of the arguments on both sides. There is no question where I stand—inclusion and acceptance of all—but I’ve been aware for some time of my less than stellar ability to listen and respond calmly when challenged on something about which I am passionate.
So I have been listening to those who feel that my church is a social club that cares nothing about God and just makes up the rules as we go along. One dear brother called it a “heaven for perverts.” The lies and vilification aimed at my church, my faith, and my very being have at times stunned me. I am quick to react with hate to those who hate me. I am not proud of this.
In fact, the ugliness inside me has been working as a kind of catalyst toward a dream for a new way of being. The vision goes something like this: I am face to face with someone actually saying all these hate filled words to my face. But now for me, inwardly all is calm, outwardly all is kindness, courtesy, and love. (Those of you that know me in real life can stop laughing now!)
This is so far from who I am right now—case in point, the best I could do yesterday when I found out about the passing of Jerry Falwell, was to just say nothing. Inside was quite a different scenario. Again, it’s pretty easy to hate those who hate you, but of course I wasn’t fooling God now, was I? Which brings me now to this business of Jesus bodily going home to be with the Father/Mother.
Knowing that I am loved, accepted, prayed for, looked after and called God’s daughter and friend, changes me. Meditating on the ascent of my Lord somehow gives me a vision of being lifted up too. It is a vision of transformation to wholeness; to my best self. It’s not something that I wrest for myself but something that is done on my behalf by Someone greater. It’s like I’m holding the hand of the One that loves me most and best and am being absorbed into pure light and love. There is no hope of darkness surviving this journey nor hope of staying the same. This is my vision of the Ascension and it changes me. It gives me hope. I am not what I will someday become and I am no longer what I once was. He is ascended. I am loved.