It would be easy to miss that today is the 40th day after Easter, the day the Risen Christ ascended into Heaven. (Acts 1:1-11) It always falls on Thursday, It’s not a major holiday. Hallmark hasn’t created a market for greeting cards. It’s easy to miss the day, but we should not miss the the meaning of it.
John Donne’s poem on the Ascension is not particularly easy to read, but it’s more than worth the effort.
Salute the last, and everlasting day,
Joy at the uprising of this Sun, and Son,
Ye whose just tears, or tribulation
Have purely washed, or burnt your drossy clay;
Behold the Highest, parting hence away,
Lightens the dark clouds, which he treads upon,
Nor doth he by ascending, show alone,
But first he, and he first enters the way.
O strong Ram which hast battered heaven for me,
Mild lamb, which with thy blood, hast marked the path;
Bright Torch, which shin’st, that I the way may see,
Oh, with thy own blood quench thy own just wrath.
And if the holy Spirit, my Muse did raise,
Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise.
-John Donne 1572-1631