Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
If the world is back to anything approaching normal when you are reading this, I’ll be in Australia. My son and his wife live over there and, during lockdown, they had a daughter. Of course, we didn’t get the chance to visit so we had to make do with video calls. We’ve watched her successfully navigate her first year remotely. At the time of writing, we’ve just been told that, if our planned trip for next Spring goes ahead as planned, we’ll meet another grandchild who will, God willing, have arrived by then!
It’ll be tough to leave, but leave we must. And they’ll give us a lift to the airport and we’ll try and put a brave face on it knowing that it might be a few years before we get the chance to visit them again. How different from Jesus’ disciples who saw him lifted into Heaven and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy. I wonder if they were putting a brave face on the situation, too? Or maybe they were genuinely overjoyed at the time they’d had together with Jesus and didn’t worry about whether or not they might see him again? Shakespeare got it right when he wrote “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” We give thanks for the time we had, and look forward to the time yet to come. Don’t we?
Loving God We thank you for the good times we have with friends and family. We pray for all travellers, and those they leave behind. Amen.
Leo Roberts, Children and Youth Development Officer, North Western Synod