Still Walking Around

Still Walking Around
You may have seen churches decorate crosses with purple, black, and white scarves during Easter.  The purple scarf is usually placed on Palm Sunday and represents the royalty of Jesus as King.  The black scarf is placed on Good Friday and represents the sorrow of Jesus' death.  The white scarf is placed on Easter Sunday and remains up for a long time, either 40 days (to the day of Ascension) or 50 days (to the day of Pentecost).  Why so long?

The Day of Ascension is the day Christ returns to the Father in heaven (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:12).  After His resurrection, Jesus is walking and talking and hanging out with different folks at different places for 40 days - over a month.  Jesus doesn't just return to the Father immediately, something I think we often miss.  We celebrate Easter as one day and move on, while in the traditional church calendar, Easter is a season of either 40 or 50 days.  Jesus is still teaching and instructing the disciples up until the point of His ascension.

Ten days after the Ascension, during the festival of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descends on the disciples.  Fifty days after Easter,  fifty days after Passover is Pentecost (a harvest celebration which also celebrates the giving of the Law) and the day the Father bestows the Spirit on His children.

Without getting lost in the numbers or the symbolism, I like to look at the white scarf on the cross and say, "He's still walking around."  When I say that, I am reminding myself that, historically, Jesus had not yet ascended to the Father and I am further reminding myself of the reality of Christ's presence with me each day.  He's still walking around with me, to the doctor's office, to the grocery store, to the mailbox.

We need reminders of Christ's work during His life and in His death.  We easily forget and are distracted by the cares of the day and the worries of the world.  If you see a white scarf on a cross this Easter season, remember, He's still walking around. 

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