These are wild, wild days, my friends.
Having misread a description of the days between the Ascension and Pentecost, I momentarily thought that these 10 days were yet another huge party–or camping trip?–we Episcopalians were obligated to enjoy; some sleuthing revealed that they were set aside as totally-boring-normal-common days, “ferial” meaning “free”–as in free-of-a-feast. A bit more digging uncovered that both “feral” and “ferial” seem to be from the same Latin root, though with exact opposite meanings, depending on how seriously one feasts.
So what are these in between kind of days here, and what can we learn from them? What does it mean that Jesus has ascended, but the Holy Spirit hasn’t come yet? Why didn’t Scripture mash those events all together? Why was there some time in between?
We’re still in the season of Easter, of feasting and rejoicing over Jesus’ resurrection and the hope and promise of salvation which that event offers to every one of us in every one of our seemingly hopeless situations. But Jesus isn’t “with us” in the way that we’ve been contemplating since the end of December; Jesus has ascended, not that Jesus was quite as predictably present since his resurrection anyway–with all the surprising appearances out and about.
We’re living in the surprise of the resurrection, the surprise of Jesus’ very fleshy but also mystical appearances, the surprise of his ascension. Another big surprise is coming down the tubes, we know–Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit–but for this moment, I wonder if we should be overcome with, and be on the lookout for, surprises.
Almost halfway through 2014, what surprises have this year brought in your life?