Thursday, May 1, 2008

Looking Into The Fog
". . as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight." Acts 1:9

Nanette Sawyer's Theolog post got me thinking about clouds and fog as I read the Acts passage for this coming Sunday. When we speak of being in a cloud, it's a foggy reference where things are not clearly seen or we are confused, even lost. Yet the word ascend brings almost opposite images to mind of rising above the fog. Jesus rose into a cloud. Perhaps Sawyer's references to previous clouds of Holy Presence are most appropriate. We may also need to look more closely at our actions when we are in a fog.

Years ago I was a driver on a Girl Scout ski trip to WVA. We drove out route 50 and up into the mountains and hit a thick fog. We had too many girls in our caravan to stop and look for alternate accommodations so we pressed onward thru the fog. (Remember that bumper sticker?) Visibility got so bad that we had to get a girl in each vehicle to hang out the passenger window and tell us where the road-side line was so we wouldn't drive off the side of the mountain! "Line, line, no line, go left, line, line. . ." It was a long and slow drive where every silence resulted in braking to a stop, for I couldn't continue to drive if I didn't know if I was on the road. My focus was right in front of me, all the way up and over the mountain.

Perhaps the gift of Christ's ascension is one of perspective. For just a moment we look up, following him into the cloud, hearing words of commission and apostolic sending. For that moment we get the big picture of divine grace that is meant for all the world, to the ends of the earth. While our eyes are uplifted we are promised the power of the Holy Spirit that will come to our aid and carry us through every trial. Then we are brought back down to earth by the men in white who remind us that our calling is here, back down in the fog. So we return to what is right in front of us; the daily grind, but we remember the higher calling and hold a vision of Christ's perspective.

The actions that occur right in front of us make a difference, even when our vision is limited by the fog of daily life. There is a greater perspective from more lofty heights and in moments of ascension we too see that vision.

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