Zebras at a Waterhole in Okaukejo, Etosha Pan, Namibia . PHOTO : J . Rieck

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ascension Day - 17th May 2012


I know that  I may be sounding like  a traditionalist, or perhaps  like the man  of whom Paul warned you in Col 2:16 “Let  no one pass judgement  on you in questions of food and drink , or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath…”. People in Colossae  were  defining religion  by  what they ate and drank and by what sacred days  they kept. I assure  you  that I am  not a traditionalist,  nor  a legalist. I believe  that Ascension Day is a profoundly Christ centered event, and as such, ought to be celebrated and remembered in the  Christian church.
The fact is that Thursday , the 17th May will probably pass unnoticed by many Christians in the world!
  
Namibia  is one of the few countries in the world that  still has  “Ascension Day”  listed as a public holiday. That is truly remarkable, particularly when we remember  that hardly anyone here knows what ‘ascension’ means, let alone  what it’s  theological  significance might be.
Ascension day is a  Christ centered event.  40 days after the resurrection Christ  left this earth in bodily  form  and  ascended  to  be  where He came from, at His Father’s  right hand  in heaven.   From there He now rules  and from there  He intercedes  for His people. From there He shall come again.
I lament the fact that  Christendom  in general  has  forgotten this event. In terms  of  theological significance  can we  really says that, in the scheme of things,  the ascension of Christ is   less significant  that the birth (incarnation) of Christ?  Surely not!

We call upon the church in Namibia ( and worldwide)  to  recognize  Ascension Day  by honouring it with a public service of praise and thanksgiving, and we commend our governing authorities   for upholding  this  day as a  public holiday. 

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