May 2021: A sensation?

May 1, 2021 | Word of the Month

A sensation is a spectacular and unexpected event. The ascension of Jesus sure had the potential to be just that, a sensation: Christ was lifted up into heaven and a cloud took Him away. Two men dressed in white appeared and announced that He will come back (Acts 1: 1–14).

And how did the disciples react? They went back to Jerusalem to the upstairs room where they were lodging. Only Luke and Acts give a brief and matter-of-fact account of the event. There is not even a hint of it having caused a sensation. On Easter this was still completely different. There was commotion and excitement all around. No one could believe what was happening. So why was the reaction so different on Ascension? For the disciples it was nothing spectacular. They had spent forty days with the risen Christ, had experienced Him as He was in their midst. There was no longer any doubt that Christ was true God. And they were aware of His plan. Ascension was not unexpected for them; it was the next logical step in God’s plan of salvation.

We firmly believe in the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Christ is part of our daily lives. In Holy Communion we experience how He comes right among us. We are aware of His plan. His return will not be unexpected. It is the next logical step. We cannot put into words how great this event will be. There is, however, one thing that this event will not be for us: unexpected.

Food for thought from a divine service by the Chief Apostle