Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sweet Sweet Ascension Day

Happy Ascension Day everyone!

I'm preaching on the Ascension of Christ this week and it blows me away how simultaneously important and neglected this aspect of Christian theology is both for our understanding of our worldview and for our day to day Christian practice.

I don't have time to elaborate right now, but here are a few thoughts from others which really drive that point home, at least for me:

"In the incarnation we have the meeting of man and God in man’s place, but in the ascension we have the meeting of man and God in God’s place, but through the Spirit these are not separated from one another." - TF Torrance, Space, Time, and Resurrection

"It is as the Son of God wearing still the flesh of our humanity and the marks of the atonement that he pleads for us before the throne of grace so that our humanity in its terrible neediness is in him brought acceptably before the Father in love." - Andrew Purves, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology

"The Ascension must thus be combined with the Incarnation if we would understand the process by which the Almighty designs to realise His final purpose with regard to humanity." - John Milligan, The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of our Lord.

"Thus when we speak of the communion of the Holy Spirit we mean the communion-creating work of the Holy Spirit—communion with the Father through our Spirit-led union with Christ and, consequently, communion with one another as we are formed into the missionary body of Christ, the church. . . .

To make the same point in a liturgical vein [and it would be really interesting to explore how this point manifests itself in other areas as well], it is right and necessary that the ascension receive the same emphasis as that commonly given to the celebration of 'Incarnation Day,' that is, Christmas."
- Andrew Purves, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology


Anonymous said...

I sure hope you are gonna do some reading in my Doktorvater's great work, _Ascension and Ecclesia_!

jon said...

I am indeed!

dale h said...

when i was doing the windows for chapel, i had incarnation, baptism, crucifixion andresurrection planned... didn't know what to do for the fifth and david guretzki insisted that i do the ascension. It was the first time i really stopped to think about ow important the ascenion is to the good news. DH

jon said...


joel said...

Hey Jon, I wrote a post for you.