"He ascended into heaven where He sits on the right hand of God." This is how the Ascension of Our Lord is represented in our creeds.
A teacher in one of the junior grades was instructing her children on the most basic fundamentals of the Apostle’s Creed. She invited them to draw a picture illustrating anything at all that they had talked about.
The next morning when the children displayed their art work, one picture somehow stood out from the rest. The artist explained that it was God blessing the world.
God was depicted as being resplendent on His personal cloud with planet earth well below and over to His right.
What made the drawing unusual was that God was bestowing His blessing with an extraordinarily long and multi-elbowed left arm that crossed in front of Him, then made a sharp left turn before veering to the right and finally down toward the earth.
The little girl when prompted to explain further ...fixed her teacher with that "How can you be so stupid?" look and replied. "What else could he do? You told us that Jesus was SITTING on his right hand!"
And so with some inadvertent help from her teacher and with a lot of her own imagination, the child had put together her idea of at least one of the consequences of what we are celebrating today.
What did The Ascension mean to the 11 Apostles who stood on that mountain top with Jesus? As he calmly lifted off ...what were they thinking? Did they perhaps dare to question the histrionics of this departure? After all he had, over the past 6 weeks, given them ample proof of his physical resurrection and of the glorified state that allowed him to come and go, from and to they knew not where, and in a fashion that defied every known law of nature.
In other words was The Ascension superfluous? It might seem so to us since the death, resurrection, Pentecost cycle placed within the context of the doctrine of The Blessed Trinity has become so familiar. But to the Apostles it was nothing short of a dramatic affirmation of the past 3 years.
It illustrated all that Jesus had said about his total identification with his heavenly Father. It was a vivid expression of his divinity. And it could be seen to have been not something that was done to him but rather something that he himself had done.
These were simple yet gifted men who habitually read the sky, the wind and the clouds. This was their language. They got the message. As Luke records it in his gospel, "They went home happy!"