Last Sunday, you heard Acts 1:1-11. In this passage, we are told that the resurrected Jesus spent 40 days popping into the places his disciples occupied — in all their sadness and confusion. He did this to prove he was alive; that the resurrection really happened; that death really had not won.
I’ve been ruminating over that promise in our Ascension text. I recently spoke with a young person about heaven. They asked me questions like: How can you know for sure there is a heaven? What do you mean forever and ever? How can we really know what happens when we die? All good questions.
I don't exactly remember what I told this young person. Something along the lines of we cannot know for sure and yes, I think it is scary, too. But in light of this Word from Acts, I would add: Jesus’ ascension also shows us there is no place in life or in death that he has not first gone or would ever have us go alone.
We have suffered great loss in our church family. We have questions about death and life after death that confuse us and cause us discomfort. But Jesus going before us is an image of hope. He has traveled the road and prepared a place for us to dwell with God. I pray this offers some solace to those of us overwhelmed by death’s sting this week.
Grace and peace, my friends.
Rev. Sam McGlothlin