For some the words of scripture pierce the heart and enlighten the darkened mind. But for others scripture is opaque, archaic or so overwritten by prior interpretations—brilliant or deadening—that they cannot read it without a cacophony of contending viewpoints clamoring in the back of their minds.
As long as the ascension is in any way related to upward movement (like an elevator going to the clouds), I am and will continue to be unmoved. The vertical directional imagery just doesn’t do it for me. I am not even moved to argue about whether or not “it” happened.
Just like that, Jesus is gone. He reappears just long enough to say goodbye. Like a wraith, like a dream, he leaves behind no children, no estate, no writings, no trace of himself except this feeling that his presence was real, that his absence is temporary. Christians have this uncanny feeling that he was just here. He must have just stepped out.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.