When Amy and I were first married I wanted to surprise her by making banana bread. Dutifully, I went to the grocery store and bought all of the ingredients. Got home, mixed them up, baked them, and out came……not the same banana bread I was accustomed to. I realized in my haste that I had overlooked a small but essential ingredient. Instead of baking powder I had used baking soda in the recipe.
Often overlooked but so essential in the Church’s life is the ascension. Tomorrow Thursday, May 5, is Ascension Day. And this Sunday at All Saints East Dallas we’ll be celebrating the ascension.
Without the ascension our faith would not be what it is because the ascension of Jesus is his going back to the Father to prepare a place for us. It is his being enthroned as King of kings at the Father’s right hand. The ascension is Jesus’ exaltation above every name that is named. The ascension is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry as our eternal High Priest and mediator. The ascension is Jesus’ mandatory leaving so he can send a comforter, the Holy Spirit. The ascension is Jesus’ real absence so that he can be with us to the end of the age. It is paradoxical, it is mind-blowing, it is huge.
Similarly, the ascension fuels our mission in the parish. We can live in God’s presence and live out his love in the world precisely because Jesus stands in the presence of the Father elevating our flesh to divine realms, seating us in the heavenly places now. The ascension epitomizes the already-but-not-yet nature of our life in Christ.
This Sunday will also be a treat because our very own The Rev. Nelson Koscheski will be preaching and celebrating communion as he celebrates 45 years of ordained ministry. Nelson+ has served in such places as West Point, NY, Ashland, VA, Dallas, TX, Charleston, SC, and Brownwood, TX. Nelson+ and Judy have been part of our Core Leadership Team at All Saints East Dallas for the past year, and have led on the prayer team among other things. They are an absolute gift to our parish.
Looking forward to Sunday -