Another day, another German holiday. Second of four this month. Does no-one have to work in this country?
In Canada we seem to be able to count on a day off each month, more or less. Whatever date the holiday is supposed to be, we observe it on the nearest Monday. Here it seems the date is the day. Except for Pentecost, later this month, which will be a Monday holiday because there’s no point in shutting down things on a Sunday because everything is already closed.
Today is Ascension Day. I understand the religious significance for Christians but hadn’t realized it merited holiday status. (My mother remembers it being a holiday when she was growing up in Quebec. Those were different times.) This doesn’t strike me as a particularly Christian or even particularly religious culture. When I have attended the local church, it was not what I would have described as full. And one of the town churches is now a museum, which to me is a sign of religious decline rather than being indicative of thriving Christianity.
There seem to be a lot of events happening today in the area villages, judging from the posters I have seen on my travels. A lot seemed to be wine related, which makes sense given how many vineyards there are in the area. Mind you, there was heavy rain overnight that is supposed to continue until mid-afternoon. That may dampen the celebrations (pun intended).
Not that I have really paid much attention to the holiday, other than to make sure I had an extra day’s supply of milk in the fridge since the stores won’t be open until Friday. For me it isn’t a holiday. My work involves daily meetings with colleagues in at least five different countries. If we took note of every country’s holidays, we would probably have a day or two off each week. That just doesn’t make sense. If I want Ascension Day off, it comes out of my vacation time – and I have plans for those days.
So Happy Ascension Day from me to you, wherever you may find yourself today. Whether it is a holiday or not, there is nothing stopping you from taking the time to reflect on the meaning of the day.
Today is a celebration of Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven, an event that would not have happened had he not first been raised from the dead. There’s a lot to contemplate in that, especially when you start asking yourself why God’s son had to die in the first place. That’s a huge theological question that goes back to the Garden of Eden.
Today is a holiday though, so you may have some extra time. Why not investigate it for yourself rather than just taking my word about its importance?
It could be life-changing.