For many, Ascension Day will go relatively unnoticed. Forty days after Easter is just another Thursday with many of us in our ordinary weekday routines. The event it celebrates, however, is an important episode in the life of Jesus that the church has regarded highly through the years.
Luke tells the story of Jesus' ascension both at the end of his gospel (Luke 24:50-53) and the beginning of his writing about the early church (Acts 1:9-11).
Our creeds affirm the Ascension as a central doctrine of the Christian faith. The Apostles' Creed reads, "he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty." The Nicene Creed similarly states, "he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father."
Centuries later, our United Methodist forebear, John Wesley, emphasized the day by including it as one of three non-Sunday holy day observances included in his Sunday Service of the Methodists in North America - a forerunner of our Book of Worship. The other two are Good Friday and Christmas.
by Joe Iovino
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