What we bring to the present moment - the moment of freedom - includes our history and habits, as well as a capacity for joy - and for enjoying the new possibilities that Easter brings. It does not seem possible - but it is true.
Alleluia. Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
And from this moment on everything is different - old things pass away and the new begins.
And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.
When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.'
And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.
Jesus, in your mercy you behold us. You ascend, yet your love remains among us, so that here and now, in mortal time and human place, you already refresh our spirits with the hope of glory.
(Adapted from J. S. Bach, Ascension Oratorio, BWV 11 - Taverner Consort & Players/Andrew Parrott)