Thursday, June 05, 2008
Let us follow the Lamb!
I interrupt this bloggin hiatus to bring you a short meditation on so great and sublime a feastday as the Orthodox world is celebrating today.
There was a time when I thought of this event as a joyful event for our Lord, but a sad one for us. After all, as he returns to His Father and claims the Kingdom for his own, with Angels, Archangels, Powers, Thrones and Dominions welcoming Him with Hosannahs and Alleluias, veiling their faces, we on earth are left without the blessed presence of our Master.
But there is a deep mystery here, something that the "deeper magic" has provided as a result of Christ overcoming the "deep magic," the law of the curse. When He conquered sin and death at His resurrection, he foiled them, for thinking they had a mere man, they encountered God. Christ, with that same human nature, with its transfigured flesh, blood, organs, soul and will, goes into the Holy of Holies, the eternal abode of the Father, taking His place at His right hand. In other words, the second person of the Holy, Consubstantial Life-Giving Trinity is enthroned in heaven with his human flesh! One of us sits enthroned in the heavenly places and that is where we must also go. We are invited to ascend with Him to the presence of the Father. The Ascension of Our Lord is the capstone of His earthly life, signaling for us the true essence of human destiny, transfigured in Christ. This is the end of the New Birth: transfigured humanity taking its place with the Lamb, who now sits enthroned on the right hand of the Father! Let us follow Him!
From St. Augustine's Sermon LXVI:
But what said the Lord Jesus? “Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts ascend into your hearts?” If thoughts ascend into your heart, the thoughts come from the earth. But it is good for a man, not that a thought should ascend into his heart, but that his heart should itself ascend upwards, where the Apostle would have believers place their hearts, to whom he said, “If ye be risen with Christ, mind those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Seek those things which are above, not the things which are upon the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ your life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” In what glory? The glory of the resurrection. In what glory? Hear the Apostle saying of this body, “It is sown in dishonour, it shall rise in glory.” (Courtesy of Ben Johnson)
Christ is Ascended!