“And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.” ― Julian of Norwich
During some weeks it feels appropriate to look at the world and ask, “Who’s in charge around here?” With terrorist attacks and political strife, cancer diagnoses and financial anxieties, it can seem like the world is devolving into chaos. With all that we are faced with, Julian of Norwich’s words above can seem hopelessly naive. Her confidence and sure hope seem to be in disharmony with so much of the world as we know it.
Today is Ascension Day. On this day the church celebrates that after he died upon the cross, and was raised to new life, Jesus,“ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father,” as we say in the Nicene Creed. The language of heaven does not mean that Jesus is far off, what it means is that he is at the center, in the control room of the cosmos. Jesus is on the throne. Who is in charge? Jesus is, we claim each week.
This conviction is the basis for Julian’s hope. In spite of what we see, and the brokenness we experience, Jesus, the good shepherd, has ascended to the throne of the universe, and all authorities and powers in the world are being brought subject under him. Even though that process can be painfully slow, we can be sure in hope that all shall be well. Jesus, the one full of grace and truth, is the authority under whom all things are being brought, his dominion is sure, good, and forever.
In light of this sure hope, we can remain confident in the midst of the world’s brokenness. Even more, we can enter into places of brokenness, alongside those who are hurting, seeking to bless and serve others, participating in God’s renewal of all things. The hope of Jesus’ ascension is so strong that we can, with Julian, wait in hopeful expectation for Jesus dominion to be fully realized, and enter into His mission, serving to make all things exceedingly well.
In name of the ascendent Christ,