One cold, wintery day, some children put a top hat on a snowman, and in a spell of Christmas magic, he came to life. Frosty the Snowman showed those children the time of their lives. With Frosty, their sleds slid further than they ever had before. With Frosty, they could play outside all day and not get cold. With Frosty, shopping was more fun than it ever was with their parents. But, the weather got warmer, and a gust of wind came along which blew his hat right off his head. The spell was broken, and Frosty the Snowman had to hurry on his way. And as the song goes, “But he waved goodbye saying, ‘Don’t you cry. I’ll be back again someday.’”
Today is Ascension of the Lord Day on the Church calendar. And as Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples were feeling a lot like the children who have to say goodbye to Frosty the Snowman. The disciples also had been with someone who had made them feel more alive than they had ever felt before. With Jesus, life was a constant miracle. Every day was different. With Jesus, they could do anything their hearts desired. But now, Jesus is gone, leaving them to live out the rest of their lives between a burning memory and a future promise. And Jesus waved goodbye saying, “Don’t you cry. I’ll be back again someday.”
Suddenly two white-robed angels come to them and say, “Hey guys, snap out of it!” They say in Acts 1:11, “Men of Galilee, why do you keep gazing into heaven?” In other words, “Why are you afraid to move on? Don’t stay stuck where you are! Get going! You have so much to look forward to!” Think about it, the very reason Jesus came was to give us the power to go out and live triumphantly and joyfully for him, and his ascension helps us to step forward in our life of faith.
Everything we do, even while remaining in our homes, is going to have powerful implications. Every word on a Zoom meeting, every letter written, every conversation with an aging parent, and every word of forgiveness given. Conversely, every bit of status, power, and wealth we presently enjoy is one day going to melt away like a snowman on a hot afternoon. All that will remain are simple acts of caring love. And friends, those are going to go on and on and on and on forever.