7th Sunday in Easter – Ascension
Easter is not one day, it is an entire seven week season. During Easter we hear the stories of how Jesus appeared to his friends after his Resurrection. The last week in Easter is when we celebrate Jesus’ Ascension into heaven.
Read Luke 24:44-53 together. Do you remember seven weeks ago when we recognized Good Friday and we heard about the bad things that happened to Jesus? Remember how all his friends were really scared and hid, and Peter denied him three times?
Things are different this time. Jesus is going away and not coming back in three days like he did from Good Friday to Easter, but instead of upset, Jesus’ followers are happy, and praising in the temple. What changed?
For one the Resurrection. Jesus came back just like he promised and showed everyone that death didn’t stop God’s love or the changes they had all talked about. The other thing different this time is Jesus opened their minds to understand more (v. 45), and tells them exactly what they are supposed to do.
Act out the Ascension story. What do you think each of Jesus’ followers was thinking?
Many artists have tried to picture the Ascension and show it through video, cartoons and paintings. The oldest artwork known to Christianity is called Iconography, and icon makers have also tried to picture what the Ascension might have looked like. There have been many different icon makers throughout history, so there are many different ideas about Ascension.
In the icon you are colouring today you will see that everyone has a circle around their heads. For icon makers, that circle is a halo and everyone the icon maker thought was especially blessed by God has one. In other icons only a few people have halos. Jesus, Mary and Joseph always have halos.
After you colour your icons, go searching on Google for other icons. There are a lot of images to see. Icons are a big part of worship for those who live in Greece, Turkey, Syria, Russia, and other countries to the east of Jerusalem.