Dear Ones of St. Columba's,
This week we celebrate Ascension Day - the day we remember how Jesus returned to God, leaving his the particularities of his earthly life behind. Every year on the the Thursday before the Seventh Sunday of Easter we watch him go, and then enter into this very interesting in-between time in our liturgical calendar. Jesus has ascended, but the Holy Spirit has yet to arrive, as they will on Pentecost, over a week from now.
What do we do with this interesting, desolate moment? We cannot see Jesus any longer, and our comforter, disrupter, companion of the Holy Spirit is not yet here?
Well, I think that those of us alive today might have unique insight into what it means to be in-between, and to inhabit a moment in time where we cannot see God in the ways we have gotten used to, and we don't yet know what the new thing is that is coming.
This week, let's live into this in-between, and this not-knowing. In my Ascension Day sermon I talked about Jesus' ascension as not being Jesus going up and away from us, but out and into the world, as the blessings for Ascension says "to fill all things." What if our work now, to stay home, stay safe, and protect each other, our call in this moment to stay connected, stay church and take care of each other - what if this work is part of how Jesus continues to fill up all that we are and have and know?
I don't know what will happen next. I don't know how or exactly when we will regather. I don't know what it will be like, or how long it will be until I can hug you at coffee hour again. But I do know this - Jesus disappeared from view and became part of every moment of human life. The familiar for us is also gone away. But our love has not. The love of Jesus continues to fill all things, including the lonely space between us as we stay faithful to what is coming, the love and hope and new togetherness that is out there, somewhere, ahead.
With care and gratitude,