In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit One God Amen.
God has gone up with a shout, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises. Psalm 47: 5-7
The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church celebrates the ascending of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ called Erget. People may ask that there is no ascend or descend for God, as He is present both in heaven, in earth and in between. Then how could King David in his psalm could say "God has gone up" (Psalm 47: 5-7)? The Church teaches that God the Son with the human body, He took from St. Mary, united with the Godhead [betewahdo] ascend to heaven. As our Holy Church believes and teaches us our Salvation was achieved by our Lord Jesus Christ's death on the cross and accomplished by His resurrection and lifting up from this world into heaven. The fullness of Christ's resurrection is given in the ascension as the ascension completes the resurrection.
- So that He could send us the Holy Spirit
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ promised the Apostles saying, "I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. [John 16:7]. Does that mean He quit them? NO. In His ascension, the Lord wasn't separated from the church, nor did He quit or forsake her, for He said, "I am with you, even to the end of age" [Matthew 28:20]. He is with us in every spiritual meeting, Mass for He is "Emmanuel" which is translated "God is with us" [Matthew 18:20; 1:20]; He is in us and we in Him [John 17], and He dwells in our hearts through faith [Eph 3:17]. Above all, He dwells in us through His flesh and blood that He gave us. [John 6].
- A declaration that the period for the Apostles has ended and the ministry has began
The ascension was a declaration that the training period for the Apostles has ended, and the ministry has started. During His forty days, after resurrection before ascending, our God taught the disciples many thing about the Heavenly kingdom, Church practices and laws. For example, the "Tselote Kidan" that our church performs in every church service is one of the prayers that our God has thought the disciples conduct. Since then Our Holy church has been practicing this prayer. After preparing them, it was time to ascend and let them undertake the ministry but not suddenly. He gave them 10 days to wait for the Spirit to descend on them, "you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Act 1:8]. Ascension was the point of turn that shows Apostles growth, maturity and undertaking responsibility.
- Receiving the hope and pledge of a glorious body rising to heaven
In His ascension, we too receive a hope and a pledge of glorious body rising to heaven. As He ascended in a glorious body, we also will have a glorious body and will live with Him forever. He will draw us to Himself up in heaven. Because He has promised to His disciple, " I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
3. Finally God's ascension has given us the feeling of comfort and confidence that we are in the care of a great God against whom any other greatness is worthless.
“He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. [Act 1] And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."
Dn Medhanie Kifle
May God protect and bless all of us! God Bless.
May the Prayers and Intercession of the Virgin Mary Mother of God, Angels and Saints be with all of us
-Contemplation on the Ascension by HH Pope Shenouda III