Today is the feast of the Ascension in the Orthodox Church (one week later this year than in the rest of Christianity).
It is one of my favourite feasts.
For me it is Christ saying: ‘I’m getting out of the picture, it’s over to you. You can no longer hide behind my tunic, like a timorous child behind his mother’s skirts. You have to take onto yourselves the risks of confronting both God’s fullness and the fullness of what God made man to be. The Father is giving you the kingdom (Luke 12.32) Don’t be cowards (2 Tim. 1.17). Be strong and courageous(1 Cor. 16.13)."
Luke 12.32: Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom / Μὴ φοβοῦ, τὸ μικρὸν ποίμνιον, ὅτι εὐδόκησεν ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν δοῦναι ὑμῖν τὴν βασιλείαν.
2. Tim. 1.7: but For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind / οὐ γὰρ ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν ὁ θεὸς πνεῦμα δειλίας, ἀλλὰ δυνάμεως καὶ ἀγάπης καὶ σωφρονισμοῦ
1 Cor. 16:13: stand fast in the faith; acquit yourselves like men; be strong / στηκετε εν τη πιστει ανδριζεσθε κραταιουσθε (The motto of my Cambridge college!)