“Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.”  Psalm 92:13-14  

“I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”  John 16:22  

Today the Church commemorates Ascension Day.  Jesus’ friends are saying “Goodbye” a second time.  I wonder what Jesus’ final departure looked like.  Paintings show Jesus in the sky with extended arms, his friends looking up in wonder.  I wonder what they were thinking, what they were feeling. 

Monday we will pay special tribute to our loved ones no longer with us, with special remembrance of veterans.  We visit graves/markers and remember special times together.  Even as we dab at our eyes we are filled with gratitude for the blessings they brought to our lives.  Jesus’ friends were human beings just as you and I are.  Bolder and braver of course, more “talkative”… might they have wiped away a tear?  The Gospel of Matthew mentions “some doubted” as they gathered.  Jesus certainly showed them new experiences beyond mortal comprehension.  

The point is they now saw what Jesus had been telling them was redemption and truth, and what it meant for all humankind.  It must be shared.  They believed and trusted, went on their way in joy … and acted.  And so may we.  Old age may not find us fresh and flourishing as the Psalmist writes.  But God’s promises are for all who believe.  Even as we limp and forget and grieve, we do what we can to share God’s love with the joy we have in those promises.  We will see Jesus again.  

Risen living Jesus, Son of God, ever present with us along with God and the Holy Spirit, Give us courage to share the story of your love.   If/when we cannot speak, may our lives … actions and words … reflect the joy we know in your love and grace.  Amen  

Verla Olson