By Barbara Rainey
First posted on EverThineHome.com
Have you thought about doing something special for this overlooked day in the church calendar? Ascension Day is Thursday, May 13 this year.
You probably haven’t planned anything because it’s not a popular holiday. But it was a remarkable memorable moment for the disciples as they watched Jesus ascend into Heaven. Can you imagine what that was like? There is much for us to learn about this event, so here are some simple ways to observe this day and learn more about our Savior and His return!
Mom’s need easy. This list is intended to be simple and helpful if you want to join us in celebrating Ascension Day this year. No pressure, don’t stress; just six quick ideas. And they are all multiple choice! Only choose one.
1. A dinnertime idea. Historically, Ascension Day has been a feast day in the church. Consider making something special for dinner to surprise your family. Or create an easy pavlova, meringues, or another cloud-like dessert to celebrate the Ascension—and how Jesus will return. Here are a few verses to read as a family so everyone can participate in learning more and talking together about this significant event:
Mark 16:19: According to this verse, where is Jesus? Who is He near and why is that important to us?
Hebrews 7:25: What does this tell us Jesus is doing now in heaven?
John 14:1-3: What else is Jesus doing? Talk about what kind of places and rooms these might be.
2. A bedtime idea. For bedtime conversation (or any time that day) ask your kids to imagine what it must have been like to watch Jesus rise off the ground, into the air and then disappear in a cloud. Read Acts 1:6-9 together to hear what actually happened.
3. An outside idea. If it’s not raining go outside, throw a quilt or blanket on the ground, and tell everyone to lay on their backs to look up at the sky and clouds together. Read Acts 1:11, then together imagine Jesus returning on one of the fluffiest clouds you can see. I bet some kids will try to see Him!
4. An inside idea. Or if weather doesn’t permit, read the same verse and then have your kids, even teens, draw and color pictures of what they imagine they will see when Jesus returns on the clouds! Hang all the drawings in your kitchen or another prominent place for visual reminders in the days to come that He promised to return. And one day He will!
5. An idea for teens: With older kids try to discuss how our lives should be different because Jesus was here with us. Ask them what they imagine it was like for the disciples after the Resurrection. Did they live as if Jesus had never come? What evidences should be obvious to us and to others that He once lived among us and is forever present with us? He promised His presence in Matthew 28:20: “Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Jesus is closer to us every moment of every day than any other human can ever be!
6. A family idea. Buy some biodegradable helium balloons for the special day. Enjoy their happy presence all day. Then in late afternoon or early evening before the sun sets, take the balloons outside, read the story of Jesus’ ascension in Acts 1:6-11, write a note or message to Jesus on your balloon and then together release them. Watch them disappear into the sky and imagine His disciples watching Jesus ascend to Heaven.
I hope these suggestions are inspiring and that you’ll want to try one with your family. Ascension Day is worth marking in our lives in a celebratory way!
We’d love to hear any stories and see photos of how you celebrated with your family!
My Heart, Ever His: Prayers for Women (BRAND NEW from Barbara Rainey)
As we search for meaning in our world of shallow online relationships and glamorized selfies, many are returning to traditional and liturgical churches. The repeated words, benedictions, and historic hymns connect us to saints who have gone before, giving us a sense of belonging, richness, and transcendence. Written prayers, once cast off as archaic, are now welcomed as guides to tune our hearts to the heart of God.
In My Heart, Ever His Barbara Rainey shares 40 prayers for women. Readers can read and meditate on one prayer throughout the week or read a prayer a day for 40 days as a way to express the longing of our hearts to our Father who loves us even as he sees who we truly are. Like the psalms of David, these prayers are honest, sometimes raw. Barbara uses these transparent expressions of common female experiences to encourage us to surrender to Christ and help us see God as he is, not as we assume him to be. My Heart, Ever His provides a stepping-stone to help you become more transparent with God and discover his welcoming embrace.
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