Ascension Sunday (May 21, 2023)
In Marvel movies, bad guys keep coming back, even after you were entirely sure they were killed. In this way, art mirrors life, in that the sins, evil and brokenness of the past continue to haunt us in the next chapter of life.
The Ascension story (Acts 1:1-11; Luke 24:44-53) is a pivot story, in that we end on “episode” and begin the next one — moving from the ministry of Jesus to the ministry of the early apostles. All too quickly though it seems like the old sins are going to come back to write the next chapter. But nope! God’s love is too powerful.
Pastor Rob offers that the good news of Jesus Christ is that his death and resurrection, which brings about the forgiveness of sins, means that even though sin and evil linger, God’s love has the upper hand and ultimately writes the story of our salvation. The crucified and risen Lord does this as he heals wounds, transforming them into scars. They bear witness to the past hurt, but also the strength of God to redeem and transform our lives.
The picture is the ascending Christ from St. Paul’s stained glass windows. Note the raised hands — the hands that will always bear the marks of crucifixion.