On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
- The Nicene Creed
For me, one of the joys of being a priest in the Episcopal Church is watching newcomers from other Christian denominations discover the calendar of the church year. Comedian and Episcopalian Robin Williams knew this, too: for him, one of the top ten reasons to be an Episcopalian is that "the church year is color-coded."
In the past six months, we have walked through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter. Each season has its own color, its own flavor, and even in some cases sub-seasons and highlighted holidays. This fifty-day white season of Easter is drawing to a close, but on its fortieth day we celebrate the Ascension -- the day that the resurrected Christ disappeared from the earth.
As you'll hear in my sermon tomorrow morning, this is a little awkward. What does it say about Christian belief when we assert that Jesus ascended into the sky, as if we really believed that God lives up there somewhere?
Let's explore that question together. Join us tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. for a celebration of this fortieth day of Easter, as we enter a time that will prepare us for the Day of Pentecost -- the fiftieth day.