Archive for April 21, 2008

Pink Helium Balloon and Ascension

My photo from yesterday’s blog of a clear blue sky with a pin prick of a floating balloon may seem inconsequential to my dear readers.  However, my reflections about this balloon have a metaphorical meaning for me while living life in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  BTW, it is Russian Orthodox Easter this upcoming weekend so all the more reason my thoughts were spinning in a spiral direction upwards.

After seeing all the wedding limos, I can sympathize with a young man (from U.K. I think) who recently proposed to his girlfriend by handing her a helium balloon with the engagement ring inside it.  Somehow it escaped their grasp.  He drove two miles in his car following the balloon before he realized he had lost his costly investment.  Apparently, he lost the girl too. (sigh)  Anyway, it was several blocks later that I saw the helium balloon in the sky but I was also pondering matters of Ascension from my morning devotional.

The following is what C.S. Lewis wrote in his book Miracles, ch. 16:

“It is at this point that the modern reader becomes uncomfortable.  He becomes more uncomfortable still at the words, ‘Don’t touch me, I have not yet gone up to the Father'(John 20:17).  For voices and apparitions we are, in some measure, prepared.  But what is this that must not be touched?  What is all this about going UP to the Father?  Is He [Jesus] not already ‘with the Father’ in the only sense that matters?  What can ‘going up’ be except a metaphor for THAT?  And if so, why has He ‘not yet’ gone?  These discomforts arise because the story the apostles actually had to tell begins at this point to conflict with the story we expect and are determined beforehand to read into their narrative.”

Then, what do you suppose our sermon yesterday concentrated on?  The Ascension of Jesus from Luke’s narrative in Acts 1:9-11.  Check it out and carry on with the promise the angels gave Jesus followers, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Maranatha!!!

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