Today is the feast of the Ascension on the Orthodox calendar.
Of all the Christian holidays, I find the Ascension the most perplexing. What, after all, can it mean? The Incarnation is a mystery, but even it makes more sense to us than the Ascension. How should we think of the creature creator in glory?
And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
The Gospel of Saint Luke, 24:50-53
I think of the Khrushchev’s story that the Soviet Cosmonauts saw no God in the heavens. I wonder if he was serious. Do most atheists think that Christians are no different in their spiritual understanding than animists? Is it all, as they say, superstition in their eyes? Nonetheless, why does the Ascension have the imagery that it has? Is it simply language that is conducive to our terrestrial psychology? I do not know.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
The Acts of the Apostle, 1:6-11
Come, Lord, and tarry not . . .