The Church celebrates the Ascension of our Lord this Thursday. Since most churches are not able to have Thursday services, traditionally many of them celebrate Ascension on Sunday.
The Ascension of Jesus is barely mentioned in the evangelical vocabulary. However, it is biblically necessary to establish the eternal reign of Jesus over earth and heaven. In fact, the Ascension is to be viewed through the eyes of vindication. Though the Resurrection unlocks the events of history, the Ascension begins to put victory in concrete terms. The Great Commission is only relevant because of the Ascension. Without the Ascension the call to baptize and disciple would be meaningless. It is on the basis of Jesus’ right-hand seat next to the Father, that we–image-bearers–can de-throne rulers through the power and authority of our Great Ruler, Jesus Christ.
The Ascension then is a joyful event, because it is the genesis of the Church’s triumph over the world. Further, it defines us as a people of glory and power. As Jesus is ascended, we too enter into his ascension glory. This glory charges us to embrace full joy. As Alexander Schmemann once wrote:
“The Church was victorious over the world through joy…and she will lose the world when she loses its joy… Of all accusations against Christians, the most terrible one was uttered by Nietzsche when he said that Christians had no joy.”
 Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World. Paraphrased