Mystic Mantra: Eyes raised heavenwards

The Bible records people's faith experiences based on some historical events that took place in and around their lives.

Tell me what you read and I will tell you who you are”, an old dictum which could be more accurate than the predictions of soothsayers and astrologers. Though millions of books are churned out regularly, one book that keeps people ever interested in it and which gets printed in hundreds of languages throughout the world is the Bible. The Bible itself is a collection of books and has two main parts — the Old and the New Testament, written over a period stretching approximately 2,000 years. It is neither a collection of books that record precise historical details nor is it a book of science. The Bible records people’s faith experiences based on some historical events that took place in and around their lives. It continues to inspire faith and change people for the better. One, however, sometimes comes across certain passages in the Bible that may appear fictitious, but are not so.

One such passage that would be read in the churches today giving reason to celebrate one of the important Christian feasts is the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is celebrated each year on the 40th day after Easter. In some of the European countries it is a national holiday providing opportunity to people to go to church. It always falls on a Thursday, though in India it would be celebrated on the coming Sunday.

The Bible describes the Ascension thus: “…While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” Another Bible passage that adds one more detail as Jesus was lifted up in the sky: “Two angels appeared to them (disciples) and asked them why they were gazing into heaven. Then one of the angels said, ‘This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him going into heaven’.”

For those of us struggling with faith in matters divine, Jesus’ resurrection is itself difficult to believe. And now those who see everything from scientific angle would find the Ascension event absolutely unbelievable. Seen, however, with the eyes of faith, the ascension of Jesus into heaven is actually a bridge that he builds for us to arrive at our final destination — heaven. Throughout his life he had taught people to live in such a way that God’s kingdom having a divine vision be established on earth.

Jesus’ parting mandate to his disciples was to go out into the whole world and share the good news of God’s kingdom of love, forgiveness, compassion and sacrifice for one another. His ascension also helps us look beyond the happenings around us with our eyes raised heavenwards.

( Source : Columnist )
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