Bob Reinhardt and I hatched an idea for Ascension Day one year at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Marshfield, Wi. Why not use balloons? And so, we did. The service began in the sanctuary and then when it came to the reading from Acts 1, we all went outside, where some helpful assistants supplied each person with a helium filled balloon. I believe I was reading the lesson and after verse 9, “While they were watching Him, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him away so they could no longer see Him,” I stopped reading, and everyone let go of their balloon. We watched as our balloons ascended, Jesus like, into the sky. Well most of the balloons, some were caught on the power lines running by the church. The street corner in Marshfield was not quite like Mount Olivet to the east of Jerusalem.
As everyone was gawking at the rising balloons, I resumed reading, “As He was going up and they were gazing into the sky, two men in white clothes were standing right beside them. They asked “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This Jesus, who was taken away from you to heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw Him go to heaven.”
Then we went back in the church and continued with the service. I don’t know if anyone else figured out what we were doing, but Bob and I enjoyed it.
It’s Ascension Day and once again we will read of gawking disciples and the two men reminding them that He will be back, implying that there is plenty of the work to be done by his followers right here on this old earth while we wait for the fulfillment of the promise, “I am making everything new,” a new heaven and a new earth.