“The cosmology of the ascension bemuses because the puny ‘modern mind’ no longer asks questions for which cosmic, universal answers are needed. The doctrine of the ascension is not for sunny, calm, ordered days in May. Its force is not that of escapist nostalgia but of defiant, clenched-fist apocalypticism. It’s a faith for the last days and darkest days, days caught between the heel of Caesar and the chant of the mob.
The One who came and stood beside us, who felt the heel of Caesar, the fickleness of the mob and the cowardice of disciples — this One has gone up. He is God, not just for the church but for the whole world. Nothing shall be beyond His Lordship. There is no escapism in this doctrine. It is time to stop gazing up into heaven (Acts 1:11) and start looking on earth for evidence of His rule, because no matter who is in the White House or what the newspapers say, Christ is Pantocrator (i.e. ‘Ruler of All’ ).”
–William Willimon, May 19, 1982. “Deus ascendit,” Christian Century. 99 (18):590-591.