“And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.”
Tuesday, 18 May 2021
Letting go is not easy. It is perhaps especially hard for both leaders and followers in movements and organisations. There can be a dependency on the founder or the leader, believing that only this person can provide the direction and vision needed. But there comes the point as the leader steps back and gives others space that the followers may be inspired and energised that will allow the gift to spread still further. As they step up and take responsibility, they may take the mission forward with their particular gifts.
We think of parents who know that they have to allow their children to become adults and make their own decisions at some point. Teachers and mentors who have to trust that those they have taught will cope without them physically present. And yet, what has been deeply experienced and learnt in those relationships lives on in the child or student.
Jesus knows that unless he goes, his followers will not find within themselves the impetus and necessity to fully own and live the transformative experience of getting to know him and the Father. Jesus has lived his mission fully; it is now time for those he accompanied so closely to realise that they bear within themselves the message entrusted to them. And yet, he will remain accessible to them in a new, even more intimate way. Closer to them, closer to us than the air we breathe, enlivening our thoughts and actions.