Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Neglected Ascension

Ascension Sunday is the 7th Sunday of Easter according to the liturgical church calendar (something we don’t really follow at Parkview outside of major events such as Good Friday or Easter). This year Ascension Sunday is May 20th. This month Ron Man’s Worship Notes is dealing with the significance of Christ’s ascension which we can read about in Luke 24:50-53. There are some important things for us to understand about Christ’s ascension and present state at the right hand of the Father. For one, it affirms the renewing work of God to restore physical creation. Below is the opening quote from Ron’s opening article. You can read the entire thing here.
Popular conversations about the incarnation tend to focus on the nativity stories and on the earthly life of Jesus… Many think that the ascension really means the shedding of Jesus’ human nature, as if Jesus is now simply a spiritual presence who used to be human, someone whom we remember with affection rather than someone we expect to see face to face someday. A full-orbed understanding of the incarnation will also proclaim that the incarnation continues, that it is the incarnate Christ who has ascended. Jesus is our contemporary, not a historical figure from a dead past. He is living now, interacting with us now, and standing now in a human body in the presence of the Father. He is praying for us now, leading our worship now, feeling our pain now, sharing our humanity now. (Laura Smit, “The Incarnation Continues,” Reformed Worship 79, 4)

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