Today is Ascension Day in the church. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven.
In past years, churches celebrated this day with services on the Thursday upon which Ascension Day fell. This seems to have fallen out of favor, and currently most churches prefer to transfer the observance to the Sunday after Ascension Day.
Happily there was no transferring at Skálholt Cathedral in Skálholt, Iceland. As soon as my traveling friend learned about the service, we planned to attend.
After about a forty minute drive this morning, we arrived for church. It was especially poignant for me to attend because I had been confirmed on Ascension Day in 1953. Sixty-nine years ago today.
As I sat in my chair preparing myself for worship, I thought about the extraordinary foundation my parents provided me as I grew up in their care and in the faith they made certain I was offered. Taught. Promised. Imparted. I did not realize until this morning the gratitude I have for this gift.
The church of Iceland is Lutheran. We were certain we would easily fit into the worship service.
It did not matter that we did not understand each spoken or sung word because we were familiar enough with the service.
A choir sang while we hummed along with the familiar tunes.
Communion was offered and we participated.
Following the service we joined the congregation, the choir, and the priest for coffee and pastries.
Gathered with these children of God this morning in this place was a reminder for me that we all are one body in Christ. Thanks be to God.