New Monkland Parish Church

The Ascension

You know, one should never eavesdrop. I remember entering the Sanctuary one day and overhearing someway say, “Have you ever noticed that Bill has tiny wee feet?” Actually, my “tiny wee feet” are a size 7.5 which is pretty average really. But, now that I think about it, these “tiny wee feet” have always got me into trouble. On the football field I could never ever get them to do what my head told them to do (with the very notable exception of a wet Wednesday morning in February 1972 at Craigbank Secondary School, and I would be extremely happy to talk to you at great length about that on another occasion)! But I could never get these “tiny wee feet” to roller-skate, or ice-skate or to ski properly. When I was a kid they were always getting me into trouble because of the muddy footprints they left on my mother’s clean kitchen floor! But I did enjoy walking along the beach with my “tiny wee feet” after the tide had gone out and then look back and see the deep prints that my “tiny wee feet” had made in the sand. I also enjoyed finding footprints on the beach made by someone unknown to me and I had fun trying to follow them and discover where they led. So, I guess I’m pretty content with my “tiny wee feet” really, because, after all, they have been getting me about for nearly sixty-five years now. So I’ll probably just keep them, even if they are only “tiny wee”!

I wonder what size of feet Jesus had. I suspect, to be honest, that they were not that much bigger than mine. But the size of the “footprint” Jesus left on the world was amazing! You see, Jesus left His “footprint”, His “mark” on the world in a way that was quite wonderful. Jesus left us an example to follow and a path to discover. Thursday of this week (21st. May) is Ascension Day when we remember that after Jesus was crucified, rose from the dead, and appeared to His disciples; He was taken up to heaven to be with God forever, and then He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us always. We remember too, that Jesus left behind Him the most wonderful “footprint” on the world. That’s what St. Peter meant when he wrote, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.”
It might seem strange to “celebrate” Jesus’ going for good and I don’t suppose for one minute that His friends were particularly happy about it. But, later, the Church realised that His Ascension into Heaven was one of those pivotal moments in history when only an ending can make a new beginning possible. 
Being able to recognise an ending, then to let go and move on sometimes takes extraordinary courage - but, whether it makes space for some boundless possibilities or lets in just a tiny chink of light, love or liberty into this world, I reckon it’s worth it. So Happy Ascension Day, and, if, like me, you apparently only have “tiny wee feet”; why not try hard to leave behind a “footprint” that will inspire and encourage others!

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