Today is a holiday called Hemelvaartsdag in Holland. In Dutch the word "hemel" means "heaven," "vaart" means "float," and "dag" means "day." So if you are a lousy translator like I am then you might call the holiday something like the "Float-to-heaven" day. In English, we all know it as Ascension Day. This is a religious holiday, and although I am not that religious really, I can still take advantage of the free day. Certainly I deserve it, and I do not feel that bad or guilty about being free, because my beliefs are not that far away from the core faith of Christianity anyway.
So what is this Float-to-heaven day anyway? This is how I remember it being taught to me. I was only about ten years old at the time, and the religious folks at the Episcopalian Church sunday school in good ol' Turlock, California explained it to me. Since that is a while ago, I may get it slightly wrong or be inaccurate. Here it is anyway as follows:
"After his terrible death on the cross, Jesus was placed in a cave by his disciples. They closed up the only entrance to this cave with a huge boulder so that no one could get in. No one dared open up this holy place for fear of being punished. After forty days, it seems that Jesus had completely disappeared into thin air. How anyone knew this as they were forbidden to enter the cave is beyond me. The fact of the matter is that Jesus has risen from his resting place and ascended high in the sky until he ended up on the right hand of God, the Father and the Holy Ghost. From this unique vantage point next to the Almighty Being, Jesus has shed his grace on all of humanity below. This has continued to this very day and prevented mankind from getting lost. Jesus is sending the powers of the Holy Ghost downwards like an invisible rainshower, spreading love and forgiveness for all alike."
May God be with all of you forever and ever until we are no more and come back together again.