Ascension Sunday. You’ll probably not hear a lot of pastors mentioning this holiday today, which technically was celebrated last Thursday on the Church calendar. But it’s the last Sunday of the Easter season in 2021, so I think it’s a special day to consider what its meaning might offer us as followers of Christ.
Jesus was an amazing doorway into experiencing the divine in his day, but he was just a person like us until the Ascension, the day he theologically became linked forever with the Christ-ness in the world (the Logos from the gospel of John). As the gospel of John says,
“In the beginning was the Word (the blueprint for life or the Logos in Greek), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He (Christ, the Logos) was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” —John 1: 1-5
For many people in the world today, our last name or surname labels us as part of a particular family. Our first name labels us as a unique expression within that clan, implicitly describing us as individuals that are both cared BY the surnamed family and also will be caring FOR the surnamed family as we grow and mature.
I think of Jesus this way, too. Jesus Christ. God’s Spirit had been woven into the material world for billions of years right from the get-go (the Christ-ness or the structural genetic code for Life) and to which all of us belong like family, including Jesus.
But then 2,000-some years ago there was this way-cool eruption of the Christ (a revelation we call it) that helped people to see the divine woven into the ordinary stuff of life more clearly. This revelation’s name happened to be Jesus.
And just like Jesus came out of the Christ-ness and was cared BY it as he lived on earth, so he cared FOR the Christ as a witness to it in his life. This is true for each of us, too. We have all emerged as little Christs some decades ago now (my emergence was over 5 decades ago!), and like Jesus, we are invited to be witnesses to woven-divinity in the world in all its incredible forms.
The great Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12) is leaning in, listening to your hopes and fears, your plans and befuddlements. They, too, are part of the Christ-ness in the world still. Some, like Sojourner Truth or Mother Teresa, you have never met. Others are dearly departed souls you are still missing deeply. Their Christ-ness is woven into your spiritual DNA—all of them—your spiritual family: giving you what you need to take the next step and be a witness to the incredible goodness of being alive.
Thanks be to God for the revelation of Christ that you are.
Your sister in faith, LeAnn Seto Little-Christ