Ascension. Many of us experienced the Ascension Service at St. Richard’s this past week. Attached is a relatively short Ascension discussion that includes 4 early paintings of Jesus” Ascension, a stirring Ascension hymn by Church of England Reverend Charles Wesley (see You-Tube link below) along with his brief biography.
As we celebrate Pentecost this coming Sunday, we need to recognize the dynamic relationship between Ascension and Pentecost. Consider this comment by Theology Professor Regis Martin:
"All….crucially depends on Christ’s being raised up in the midst of his astonished apostles, only to vanish in a cloud that…carries him straight to the Father….Ascension is truly the pivotal turning point in our relationship with God. Until then, the unleashing of the Holy Spirit cannot take place….that hovering and mysterious Presence can only take place when Christ in his blessed humanity is raised to receive the praise and honor of the Father. Only then may the promised Pentecostal fire fall into the gap, the time-bound interval between Ascension and Parousia." [Note: Parousia is the time when Jesus Christ will return to judge humanity at the end of the world.]
Charles Wesley: Rejoice, the Lord is King!
You-Tube has a superb version of the hymn. Don’t miss it. Here’s the link.