Bearing Witness In A Time of Abandonment

Bearing Witness In A Time of Abandonment

Today, we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. In Acts 1:6-10, we read:

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

The Ascension seems odd in our modern days time, but when we look at it from a mythological point of view we see that Jesus transcends the physical limitations of the world and becomes the transcendent Christ, the River from whom many streams flow. We feel abandoned by his leaving, but in his leaving the opportunity is offered for us to bring others into the community of faith and sharing, and of hope.

Recently I was being taken to the air port and my driver asked me if I was “homeless”, frankly, my first reaction was thinking, “What a dumb fu.. .ck you are.” but than I realized I am homeless.  My home is in Christ, it is in following him on this journey and into Galilee. It is being an evangelist, but not an evangelist that proclaims “believe in Jesus or you go to hell,” but an evangelist who proclaims that that there is one River, with many streams, and that that River calls us to “love God with all of our heart mind, strength and soul, and our neighbor as ourselves.”

The Ascension calls us in that Spirit to live simply, and share our remaining possessions, to feed the hungry, to provide health care, and housing for all. The Ascension calls us to see all creatures, and all of our environment as God’s creation and to honor both. The Ascension calls us to come out of our tribes, and to stand with one another.

We are abandoned as long as we stew in our own juices, but when we come out of ourselves we move into the witness of the love of Christ, and the rainbow of God through other faith expressions to the world.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Witness Against the Death Penalty, Friday, September 26, Earl Warren Office Building, 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 12 Noon.


+Fr. C. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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