The Power and the Presence
Alleluia! You are witnesses. Forty days after Easter, witnesses saw Jesus taken up into heaven. Don’t just stand around looking at the sky! Jesus instructs those who love Him continue to witness, teaching all people the Gospel.
Christ’s ascension, which we celebrate today, deals with a reality that is beyond the physical and the earthly. In theology, Christ’s resurrection and ascension are referred to as two aspects of one reality. The ascension is the end of his physical appearances to His disciples and beginning of Christ’s spiritual presence among them. Where the physical ends, the spiritual somehow begins.
The spiritual represents a higher reality which can subsist on its own. The spiritual gives the physical its soul and significance. In death, the spiritual separates from the physical. In the resurrection and ascension, the spiritual, by its own power, reunites with physical for the fullness of human life in God.
Christ’s resurrection demonstrates His power and dominion over death itself, that is, the power of the spiritual over the physical. As Christ commissions His disciples to be witnesses, He gives them the assurance of His powerful presence through the Spirit.
Our Christian life is about a power and a presence that encompasses the physical and the earthly. The resurrection and ascension assert Christ’s power and presence among us as we are commissioned to bring His message to the world. Christianity is about the continuing presence of God in the Church and in the world. God’s presence is brought to the world through our life in the Spirit.
Indeed, we are commissioned to become more and more a living testament of a people who adheres to the power and presence of Christ’s resurrection and ascension.