I am posting excerpts from pastoral letters written for the congregation of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Oviedo, Florida. These are offered with the prayerful hope that others might find perspective or encouragement in them.
My wife and I were reading from Hebrews 2 on Ascension Day:
It has been testified somewhere,“What is man, that you are mindful of him,or the son of man, that you care for him?” (Hebrews 2:6)
First, I love how the author quotes from Psalm 8, but can’t remember where it’s from and says simply “somewhere.” He’s the patron saint of all of us with small brains and short memories.
But secondly, the text goes on
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death. (Hebrews 2:9)
We see Jesus crowned. On the third day he who died rose from the dead. On the fortieth day subsequent, he ascended into heaven. There he is crowned and from there he rules. We, it is acknowledged, do not always understand the nature of his rule. A pandemic has cut us off from one another and cut others off from life. But that is only the current distress. There are many others, many more personal, that you and I face on a daily basis, and they are all inexplicable and a mystery and puzzling to comprehend in the light of an ascended Jesus.
Some deal with this by saying that such things are outside of Jesus’ control. I say that his stilling the waves and raising the dead put that claim to rest. There is nothing beyond his reach. So it is only made harder to know that he who could cause a virus to stop or a broken mind to heal chooses not to do so.
Such things lead us to either deny the throne to Jesus, or to bow before him accepting as mystery those things we do not understand. And I urge the latter, not as concession but as the wisest path.He who died for us ascends as a good king. He who gave his life as a ransom for us is not one who in his ascended rule will cease to provide for us. For, behold, as he said before he ascended, he is with us. Always. To the end of the world. He always rules and he is always good and we may always hold those things close to our hearts.