For Ascension Day – It Was a Glorious Morning (by James Clarke)

It was a truly glorious morning. We walked up the Mount of Olives, Joanna, Mary Magdalene,
Jesus’ mother, and a few others of the women with me, as we had done for three years now, we
were following the men. The city was bright in the sun below us. We chatted about this and that,
just glad to be out in the company of Peter, James, John and the others again. They were excited,
as if this was a very special day. We wondered if we would see Jesus today, we never knew
when he would come, or what his message would be, but it was always wonderful when he
came!

As we walked we realized that Jesus had indeed been with the men from the start, and they
talked all the way up. Near the top we all slowed down and gathered round Jesus while he said
encouraging words to us all.

A little further on, Jesus stopped, turned, looked at us all, then raised his hands in blessing, the
wounds clear in the early morning light, then suddenly, he was wrapped up in a bright shining
cloud, and next moment was gone.

I have to say, we were all stunned, it was like the moment of seeing the empty tomb, I couldn’t
take it in! My heart seemed to stop, my knees shook and I couldn’t move, I stared up into the
bright blue sky, mouth open I think!. I had never experienced anything like it, all the other times
the Risen Lord had come to us he had come and gone, gently comfortingly, those times, in
Jerusalem, or by the Lake, he just slipped away…but this? This was different, please Lord, I
don’t understand!.

It was dear kind John who came back to explain it to us.
“Everything has changed. He has gone back to His Father- that shining cloud is the Glory
of God, we are honoured to see it. We won’t see him like this again, but don’t worry, he
has promised that someone will come to help us, we’re to go back to Jerusalem and wait
there.”

John told us to make our way to the Temple, we are all meet there to give praise and thanks for
what we had seen, and to prepare for what we are to do. So in a mixture of sadness and joy, we
walked into the Great City and made our way to the holiest building, to offer our praise and
thanks, wondering how the empty feeling we all knew, could ever, ever be filled.

Rev H. James Clarke
Ascension 2021

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