Devotional article for The Greybull Standard
and The Republican Rustler
A Fond Farewell – And No Farewell At All
This week we celebrate Ascension Day, forty days after Easter. For forty days after He had been raised from the dead, our Lord Jesus ascended into Heaven.
Some might wonder how that could be something to celebrate – that our Lord Jesus has been taken away from us. We would so much rather have Him with us, would we not, so that we could see Him, and know that He is with us, really know it.
Some seek comfort in convincing themselves that they feel His presence. They seek out atmospheres which can give them emotional experiences, and then they convince themselves that their emotional experiences came from His presence, rather than from the atmosphere they sought out themselves, and which others had deliberately arranged for them.
“Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed”, is what our Lord Jesus said, however, and what He said about not seeing applies also to not seeing with our feelings. What He calls His Christians to believe is Him and His Word, not in ourselves and our feelings.
And what He Himself said to His Apostles was this: “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away.”
And it is indeed to our advantage that He has ascended into Heaven.
After He has earned full and complete righteousness for us with His life, and brought about full and complete forgiveness for all our sins and shortcomings through His death, He has now returned to the heavenly glory from which He came. He is now at the right hand of the Father, in the fullness of His majesty and power.
As such, He rules all things for the good of His Church and His Christians, in our own lives, and in the life of the world.
And being in the fullness of the majesty and power of God, He is with His Church in His power of salvation. He gives His Spirit to us, with His living Word of love, and His Spirit is His very own life, and His love. He even gives His body and blood to us, for real, in His festive meal of salvation. For now that He is the fullness of the majesty and power of God, nothing can prevent Him from being wherever He chooses to be, also with His glorified body and blood, and has promised to be.
He has not left us at all. He is with us, although we neither see Him, nor feel His presence. He said He would be, and as His Christians we believe Him. We believe that He will be with us until He shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and we shall see His glory and be with Him forever.
Pastor Jais H. Tinglund
Grace Lutheran Church, Greybull/Zion Lutheran Church, Emblem