Summary: The whole idea of Christ elevated is totally incomprehensible, or if you will: heavenly / for those of us who are able to understand Latin: celestial.
Let me show you the two standard issue License Plates of our state, both of which feature the slogan: Life Elevated
Depending on whether you are the winter or summer type you either pick the Arches or the Greatest Snow on Earth. I pick the Snow. Either of them refer to the strengths of the state we live in
Let me just pick three of them:
1. Quality of Living: Utah once again lead the Forbes’ List as Best State To Live In
2. The Scenery: It’s Heavenly / for those of us who are able to understand Latin: celestial
3. Our Altitude: It’s the altitude that makes the Greatest Snow on Earth possible
The overall Utah lesson is: the more elevated the better
Today in a week, Christianity celebrates one major holiday: Ascension Day - the commemoration of Christ elevated
We read the story in the book of Acts, Chapter 1: When the risen Christ had told his disciples that they were going to be his witnesses, "as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven".
You may have heard the Apostles’ Creed’s concise summary of Jesus’ mission: "he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead."
Ascension is about the Coronation of a king - and in this it is totally undemocratic
The whole idea of Christ elevated is totally incomprehensible, or if you will: heavenly / for those of us who are able to understand Latin: celestial
Christ elevated is a totally strange event, but far from unique: the Bible knows numerous similar events - raptures:
The first recorded rapture in human history happened to Enoch - According to Genesis 5 "all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him."
It even happened to Jesus before - in his Transfiguration: According to Mark 9 "Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus."
At some point it is going to happen to all of us: The Second Coming also includes a rapture: According to 1. Thessalonians 4 "The Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever."
We cannot fully understand what happened at those occasions
We cannot do what God in Christ did for us: "Who will ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down) or Who will descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)": That is the reason we live in a federal constitutional republic not a monarchy – there shall be no absolute power in human hands
We cannot forget that our elevated quality of living has a downside: drugs keep our valley happy
We cannot forget that our scenery needs good stewardship: A high quality Utah Lake and a Rock Canyon with actual Rocks (BBQ Service)
We cannot forget that our altitude is a burden for senior citizens and those with respiratory diseases
"Life elevated" is both a promise and a challenge
May Christ elevated guide our leaders in the right direction of his will