St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

The Feast of the Holy Ascension, 2005

by Fr. Rodney Torbic

Today is the Feast of the Holy Ascension. We enter the period of time the Holy Orthodox Church looks to the Ascended Christ with joy and anticipation.

We know of Christ's Resurrection. The Resurrection is fresh in the minds of Orthodox Christians. The life-changing and life-creating words: "Christ is Risen!" are written in the hearts of believers.

Throughout the year, we are reminded of the Resurrection of Christ. The Feast of Ascension directs our attention to Jesus Christ being carried up to heaven. (Lk.24:51)

We think about Jesus Christ taking on human flesh. We think about His Virgin Birth. We think about His miracles and teachings. We think about the feasts associated with His earthly life in bodily form.

When the Feast of Ascension is celebrated Christ's departure from earth comes to mind. His glorious Second Coming also comes to mind.

The good use of our time in the interim is of the greatest importance. We do not know when Christ will return. We do know that He will return.

Noah was wise enough to build the ark. He survived the onslaught of the rains and the flood that covered the earth. (Gen.6:14-9:29) The Church is our ark. The Church protects us from the dangerous waters abounding on the earth at this time.

The Church takes us through the sea of life. God's Kingdom is the harbor we seek to enter.

The Ascended Christ is proof of the Resurrected Christ. The accounts of the witnesses who saw Jesus after His Resurrection and until the time of His Ascension are documented in the Holy Scriptures.

We find in Christ the meaning and direction for our lives. We find in Christ the peace for our lives. We find in Christ our Source of life and Nourishment for our lives.

Christ's Virgin Birth, His Transfiguration, His Death on the Cross, His Resurrection and Ascension are inseparable from ours lives and are cause for careful consideration. We never come to a full knowledge and understanding of Christ. We are too great of sinners and our minds are not capable of stretching to the immeasurable dimensions of Christ.

Each Feast of the Ascension we can pause to think about the Ascended Christ. We can attend the Divine services of the Feast and we can give thanks to God for the joy, hope, and promise He brings into our lives. We can give thanks for each opportunity for new life in Christ.

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