I am halfway through writing an homily (actually, it needs to be even shorter than that, so more of an 'omelette') for Ascension Day, tomorrow, and something interesting occurs to me ...
Sit back and listen, and see what you think.
We have the leader, much misunderstood, who has nevertheless ministered across the towns and villages, preaching his message surrounded by his supporters. His love for his people is legendary.
After a few short years of ministry, the dissenting voices get louder and louder until they are insurmountable and overpowering - they demand a trial. There is a betrayal or two mixed in there too, just for good measure.
So we have a trial, and the leader is found to be wanting - not right, unsuitable. He is not wanted anymore, and there must be a ceremonial and terminal removal of that hapless fool, for he has caused too much trouble and the failings of the world are down to him and his erroneous teachings. The public life of the leader is ended in front of the whole assembly - 'it is finished'.
Then there is a strange time when the leader is both there but not fully gone - his remaining disciples can see him, but he is beyond their grasp. They are uncertain, fearful. After a few days, the leader stood among his disciples one more time, and told them that these things must be fulfilled. Then he left them, and went up ....
When the leader had 'gone up', those who were left behind filled the empty seats with new disciples, gathered in a room together and started to ponder the life that lay ahead of them. None of them had stood in that place before and with such concerns - and a new leader addressed the crowd, seeking to build a new future for all.
So to 'went up...' add 'to Scotland' and you could be talking about the most honourable and noble Gordon Brown. Add 'to heaven' and you are talking about Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Is it just me who spotted this uncanny similarity of narratives? Has the gin worn off? And if anyone says 'God-incidence', I will plight them with a blight or two!
Happy Ascension Day to you all! God is gone up with a Triumphant Shout!