About a month ago I wrote about Ascension Day, which is actually tomorrow, May 26, 2022. Because of difficulties of offering a worship service on a Thursday night, I opted, first for a Wednesday night--that is something we have a history of doing, with both Advent and Lenten midweeks--and then, I decided to move it to the next Sunday. It is a forgotten and somewhat lost festival day, yet on par with Christmas and Easter. It unfortunately falls on Memorial Day weekend. Oh well...
It is worthy to remember that in order for Christ to bring to a close His completed work of our salvation through His sacrificial life, death and resurrection, He prepared His followers for His ascension to His Father's right hand of authority and power. He had to bring to a close His earthly ministry, although He was not done. He is with His people always.
Ten days after His ascension, the Holy Spirit came to the followers gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost, the bringing in of the first fruits. The Holy Spirit opened their tongues to languages not learned, so that all the foreigners gathered for the Feast would understand the Great Works of God for all people. They were the first fruits of those who believed. Several thousand were Baptized on that day.
It was necessary for Jesus to ascend so that now the Holy Church would move out intentionally, gathering around God's Word and Gifts, centered on Christ Jesus, who is the Temple where we gather, not Mount Zion in Jerusalem. The Epicenter was at the temple, but the concentric circles of that Pentecost tsunami would keep moving outward to engulf all the world, even beyond today. But Jesus is at the center, not a building. He is our Temple.
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16