In a discussion about the meaning of the Ascension yesterday, someone relayed a comment made to her by a teenage boy. The teen said that the Ascension was one of his favorite Holy Days in the liturgical calendar because he understood it as Jesus saying, “The ball’s in your court now.”
The line stayed with me. I think it conveys a great way to think of the Ascension. Jesus came. He lived among us teaching, healing, praying, modeling obedience to the Father. He died, rose, and spend time with his friends after the Resurrection. And then He returned to His Father.
One of the last thing Jesus tells His disciples before he (in Mark’s words) “was taken up into heaven [to take] his seat at the fight hand of God” is, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” By His life, death and Resurrection, he taught us everything we need to do exactly that, everything we need to know and do to continue His work.
That was not a charge given only to those who saw Jesus physically ascend. It is the charge Jesus gives to all of us who would be called Christian disciples. Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel.
The ball’s in your court. What are you going to do with it?