Acts 1:1-11, Ephesians and Luke 24:44-53
As I write this I am “up high” at Beersheba Springs Camp and Retreat Center. Grundy County. With some Kedron youth and a couple of parents. A beautiful sunshine and clouds kind of day with just enough breeze to keep you from running for the AC inside!
Up on the ridge. Elevation at about 1,847 ft. Methodists acquired the hotel in 1941 and a camp and retreat assembly has been here ever since. Thousands have worshiped here close to 70 years! Thousands have left here spiritually renewed and committed to serve others.
The place just goes with our scriptures for today! They are about the Ascension of Jesus some 40 days after Easter. He ascends into heaven. I would like to imagine Jesus here at Beersheba blessing his disciples and then departing upward past the trees and hills. It would be memorable. I suspect not entirely unlike the first century experience. It is ALL about Jesus in any age and it is about the Church “the body of Christ” as Ephesians 1:23 puts it. The images are wonderful to work with in our imagination. Jesus departs to be “in heaven and rule over all” but nonetheless Jesus is with US, in US and we are still on earth! Jesus is both “away” and “very much here.”
I look around me here at Beersheba Springs at the beauty of nature and that of God’s people at work and on retreat at this assembly grounds. I can imagine Christ above me “in heaven” but just as much can imagine Jesus in me and my neighbor and even the stranger I meet at work and play. The Church is the body of Christ. A mystery indeed but we proclaim Christ in US and look to see how we are Christ to one another.
“I lift up mine eyes into the hills……” but I also look around me to see Christ at work caring, healing, and doing justice in the here and now! Ascension of Christ Sunday….yet still we walk in faith….. on earth
~+ “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”