John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God…. Eternal life starts before we die, and eternal life is to know something, something that changes the way we live. We had a series of powerful storms here in the Bay Area this winter. The rain felt endless, but during a break in it I went for a hike and saw this tree. It had fallen, and a ranger had cut it with a chainsaw and moved the pieces out of the way, off the path. I was struck by the beauty of what was revealed. Like each of us, this Eucalyptus was dying even before the storm brought it down. The storm hit, the tree fell, and the tree was broken open, showing its truth—a sight we wouldn’t have seen if the tree had stayed upright, looking fine. Back before Easter, a prayer for […]
Acts 1:9–11 Jesus rose from the dead (Easter), appeared to various people over the course of forty-plus days (the Easter season), ascended into heaven (Ascension), then sent the Holy Spirit to those he had left behind (Pentecost)—a series of terrifying, beautiful surprises. Today is the sixth Saturday of Easter; Thursday was Ascension Day; Pentecost is in eight days. We’re in the middle of all this crazy new life. The bulbs I planted in December put up a few flowers and are now reduced to drooping green stalks, but … the wild irises outside my office window are rioting. There are six flowers out there this morning. Go figure.
John 20:17 Jesus said, “Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’” Acts 1:9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. In York Minster, I remember seeing the soles of Jesus’ feet depicted on the ceiling, surrounded by a cloud. The last thing anyone saw of his physical body as he ascended! I can’t find any sign of such a thing on the Internet, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Here’s my version.