Yesterday (May 26), the church observed the Feast of the Ascension commemorating the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven. Also known as Ascension Day, this feast day is celebrated 40 days following Easter and 10 days before the day of Pentecost. The feast itself originated in the 4th century CE and is often celebrated with a procession symbolizing Christ’s journey to the Mount of Olives. Historically, the Paschal Candle lit at the Easter Vigil was extinguished on Ascension Day.
This Sunday we come to the end of the church season known as Eastertide. We have made the decision to “transfer” yesterday’s feast day propers (readings) to Sunday this year as many communities of faith do, so that we can hear the story of Jesus’ ascension and explore what meaning that story and mystery might have in our lives today. We have had a rich Eastertide this year being able to finally gather together again after a long, even though necessary, 2-year hiatus, as well as continuing to offer Trinity @Home.
We will continue to offer these two ways of gathering as a community trusting people’s choice and assuring each other of our on-going support to honor our various contexts. I continue to think about what and how we are being called into these days as we journey together- separate at times, together when we can- and all of it as opportunities to grow in faith. We could have never seen any of the new “hybrid reality” in our future and I am still taken aback each day as I feel and experience your expanding generosity, engagement and encouragement of the ministry we share.
At a time when I know first-hand of so many communities of faith that are barely holding on and praying for their own survival, we are blessed to be growing and finding new ways to serve our community day by day. Please hold in your prayers all who are continuing to wrestle with loss in their lives. We will continue, together, to face many challenges ahead as well, but for today, I stand next to each of you with a heart full of love and gratitude- knowing that we are not alone.
May you never forget that you are loved.