I hated it, and I spent much of the class drawing cartoons of airstrikes being called in against the campus. If I were to do such a thing today, I would get in all kinds of trouble. As it was, my cartoons became underground hits.
And I think I wound up with a C+ in Government and Civics.
I still don't like "hypotheticals."
In the course of today's sermon, our preacher posed the question which I posted as a title to this blog post: "What would the Resurrection be without the Ascension?" (or WWTRBWTA for short).
His point was to increase people's awareness of the importance of the Ascension and to chastise us for not attending the Thursday 11 a.m. service that celebrated Ascension Day.
I was left wondering about how modern people, many of whom have enough trouble with the bodily resurrection of Jesus, might react to Acts 1:9-11
"When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’"and Luke 24:50-51 both of which which I read on Ascension Day,
"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."How many people today have trouble believing this happened? I don't know the answer to my question, but I do know that you can't discard the Ascension stories. They are integral to the Gospel's witness. Because the Ascension is integral, it might be better to draw cartoons or color in the Sunday kids bulletin than to get caught up in the hypothetical question posed during today's sermon.
Without an Ascension, we would be left with an unanswered question as to what became of Jesus after his post resurrection appearances to the disciples. An endless stream of hypotheticals starts flowing through my mind. Thoughts like, "Where does he sleep?" or, "Will his body show signs of its age?" In either case, you see that I must presume that the non-ascended Jesus would live in His physical body on Earth forever.
I hate hypotheticals.
I disagree with our preacher's answer that without the Ascension, the Resurrection might be considered nothing more than a cheap parlor trick, but I would rather not waste more time on his answer other than to say that in his attempt to make the congregation more aware of the importance of the Ascension, and how naughty we were for not coming to church on Thursday morning, he might have taken another path... hypothetically speaking.