Ascension = Transformation

Most of the world's Christians celebrate today as Ascension Day (Orthodox Christians celebrate it a little later). Muslims also celebrate it, although they do not think Jesus could have died on that cross beforehand, because the Almighty/Allah cannot die. Our society is aware of our cosmic inter-connectivity and of quantum physics, so it may not want  (as does an Oxford church) to celebrate the Ascension by sending balloons up into the sky. from the church tower.

Yet we should not forget that Christianity pictures Jesus, in the days between between his death and resurrection, as 'going down into the bowels of the earth' and of 'harrowing hell'.  In other words, there is no place in the cosmos where the Divine influence can't go.

How, then, should we think of The Ascension? As Transformation. The ultimate expression of the All-Merciful is vulnerability.  Love suffers. Love 'loses' at one level, because it ultimately wins, and Love transcends all barriers of space and time.

Jesus took his three closest friends, Peter, John and James, up a mountain. He was transformed.  He revealed that their two greatest prophets (Moses who saw the Divine Shekinah glory and Elijah who disappeared amid 'chariots of fire') were able to be manifest for this unique farewell which made it possible for Jesus, although hid from human sight by a cloud, to take a human heart from God Incarnate into the heart of God beyond incarnation.

That is why, in our Liturgies from Lindisfarne, we can pray:

'High King of the cosmos, in you our humanity has been raised to eternal life in God.

May tiny infants in the womb be raised to life in You.

May the handciapped and ailing be raised to life in you.

May bronzed and brave adventurers be raised to life in you.

May thinkers and researcheres be raised to life in you.

May the battle-scarred and broken be raised to life in you.

In our peaks and in our deaths may we be raised to life in you.

May all people be raised to life in you.'

Transformation.

Posted at 03:33am on 26th May 2022
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