When I was a young child, we lived on a farm in Sask. and traveled by horse and buggy (by sleigh in the snow). Every Saturday, there was a frenzy of cooking and cleaning in the house so that we would be ready for Sunday when only urgent work was done. My job was to dust furniture that never had any dust to begin with. Once a year, there was a change in our routine. On a Wednesday shortly after Easter, we cleaned as if the next day were Sunday. Then, on Thursday, we went to church after breakfast. It was called 'Himmelfahrt'. I had no concept of what the day represented; it was just that a Thursday was like a usual Sunday. Now, I can connect that memory of our farmhouse and our Mennonite food with Ascension Day.
The feast of Pentecost came 50 days after Passover during and after which Jesus' death and resurrection took place. Ten days before the Holy Spirit was sent during the feast of Pentecost, Jesus ascended back to heaven.
Read the account in Acts 1:9-12, Luke 24:50-5,1 Mark 16:19.
This event is often left out or even ignored in the festivities of Easter and Pentecost. I think that remembering it is important for at least two reasons.
Jesus told his followers that if he did not leave them, the helper, the Holy Spirit would not come. John 16:5-11
The big picture reason why this day is important is that Christ's ascension is one piece of the rescue plan that began with the incarnation of Jesus and culminates at Pentecost. Just imagine the totality and completeness of God's plan. It took place only once in the history of this world. Because of what God has done, we can experience love, joy, forgiveness, peace, a right relationship with God and other people and eternal life.
Today, Thursday, May 21,2020 is ten days before Pentecost. I'm celebrating Ascension Day! Will you join me?
'Himmelfahrt' translates to 'Heaven going'. It sounds better in German.