Well, as many of you know, last Sunday was our grand opening – the open house of our new administrative office building here behind the church. And as I was bringing things over from my old office at the Retreat House across the street to my new office, I discovered as I was rummaging through my desk that I had accumulated a lot of junk in nine years. As I was getting rid of the junk, I discovered a jewel that I just had to save.
The Christian Church celebrates what's known as Ascension Sunday. We're remembering that story of Jesus ascending into heaven. It signifies that the Easter season is coming to a close. And next Sunday is Pentecost, the beginning of a new liturgical season. The readings that we heard this morning are actually not the readings from today's lectionary. They're from Thursday's lectionary because the Ascension is always celebrated 40 days after Easter Sunday. Many of you know that Easter begins with Lent, which is 40 days before Easter Sunday. And it concludes 40 days after Easter Sunday with the Ascension. Now why – when they were putting together the church calendar – why did those early church fathers decide on these 40 days?
Yesterday, May 13, was the feast day of Julian of Norwich, the medieval Christian mystic. And if you were with us last Sunday, you know, we were talking about Julian of Norwich. And this term that she coined, called “Oneing,” which was used to talk about our union, our oneness with God. And I know that's a head scratcher. For many of us. It's difficult for us to wrap our minds around how can we and God be one.
Some of you may be familiar with the contemporary spiritual writer and teacher whose name is Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart Tolle has written many books. His two most famous are called The Power of Now and A New Earth. They both sold millions of copies and, they really have become contemporary spiritual classics. If you have not read them, I recommend that you do.