“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.” (Luke 24:50-53)
Jesus parts company with the disciples and is carried into heaven while blessing them. This is the last they will see of him until they too are in heaven with him. But they will always know they have his blessing. They will be left with blessing as they return with great joy to the world. The same way we are left with blessing, no matter how terrible the sermon is, when the service is over.
I remember talking to an older lady on vicarage, she used to go to church as a child and didn’t understand German, but her parents taught her the benediction and told her that was all she needed. “You just go to hear that,” they told her. Sure is nice when you have the rest of it too, and in those days they were probably still doing quarterly communion so that wasn’t much of an issue. She got one thing out of the service, God’s blessing. It was enough to return to the world with joy.
Jesus never quit blessing his disciples or his church, he does it even today. He ascended to be with us. To be sure it is a different manner of being with us, but that is what it is. He is with us. Even as he is with the father advocating on our behalf, interceding for us, praying for us and blessing us.
The disciples worship at this point. They received his blessing, and then worshiped. It was the first time they had done this. Before he was with them, but now he was their heavenly Lord, to be worshiped in Spirit and truth.