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The Feast of the Ascension celebrates the risen Christ’s triumphant return to heaven and anticipates the Spirit at Pentecost.
Today at 3:00 p.m. the Rev. Angela Johnson of Grace Hope Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky will be featured in a live conversation on the PC(USA) Facebook page.
The Ascension of the Lord has never been an important event on the Presbyterian church calendar. But perhaps it should be, as there are things we can learn from it.
The story of Jesus ascending into heaven after appearing to his followers in the 40 days after his resurrection does come with two significant challenges. First, as a rule, people do not simply float away into the sky. Just think of the nightmare that would pose for the Transportation Security Administration. Secondly, the story presents a picture of the universe we know not to be true. “Heaven” is not “up” and “hell” is not “down” and we do not live in “the middle.” So a literal reading of the story is not going to be helpful.