Although it is a Christian holiday that has seemed to have gone out of style, we are observing Ascention Day this Sunday, May 20th, at our 8 am service.

Thus I have been necessarily reflecting on the first eleven verses of Acts.  Today I came across this, written by Walter Bruggemann back in 2007.  He quotes Barth, which isn’t a surprise, to make a point about the effect of the Ascension rather than the affect of Ascension.

Karl Barth had attested to this empowerment by the Spirit through baptism when he writes of:

the suprahuman coming of a very different humanity, of the miraculous investiture of man with a new nature, of a miraculous inner change, of a wonderful new birth, of the last thing, dying, being in some wonderful way that which is truly the first. . . .In the work of the Holy Spirit the history manifested to all men in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is manifest and present to a specific man as his own salvation history. (Church Dogmatics IV, Part 4, pp. 11, 27)

The whole of Barth’s discussion is to the point, a witness to a radical new beginning wrought by the freedom of God.