A blessed Ascension Day to all L&B readers. After being offline much of the past few weeks, I had a bit of a chance last night to catch up on some of the Anglican blogs. I came across a few nice posts for Ascension Day:
Fr. Rob Lord has reflections on a quote from Dallas Willard and Christ’s ministry of intercession for believers — “Christ is Pulling for You”
Dean Rick Lobs: The Ascension of Our Lord
Dr. Peter Toon has two posts:
Ascensiontide —a precious season of 10 days before Pentecost
Feast of the Ascension—why a much neglected Festival?
And here is Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest Devotional for today:
His Ascension and Our Access
We have no experiences in our lives that correspond to the events in our Lord’s life after the transfiguration. From that moment forward His life was altogether substitutionary. Up to the time of the transfiguration, He had exhibited the normal, perfect life of a man. But from the transfiguration forward— Gethsemane, the Cross, the resurrection— everything is unfamiliar to us. His Cross is the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God; by His resurrection He has the right to give eternal life to anyone, and by His ascension our Lord entered heaven, keeping the door open for humanity.
The transfiguration was completed on the Mount of Ascension. If Jesus had gone to heaven directly from the Mount of Transfiguration, He would have gone alone. He would have been nothing more to us than a glorious Figure. But He turned His back on the glory, and came down from the mountain to identify Himself with fallen humanity.
The ascension is the complete fulfillment of the transfiguration. Our Lord returned to His original glory, but not simply as the Son of God— He returned to His father as the Son of Man as well. There is now freedom of access for anyone straight to the very throne of God because of the ascension of the Son of Man. As the Son of Man, Jesus Christ deliberately limited His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. But now they are His in absolute, full power. As the Son of Man, Jesus Christ now has all the power at the throne of God. From His ascension forward He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
I find the reminder of Christ’s glory and full omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience, as well as His ministry of intercession for believers from His throne at the Father’s right hand, extremely comforting and timely today. There are a lot of dear friends and Anglican leaders who are in need of intercession at the moment, and when words and strength fail me, I am encouraged to be reminded of Christ’s powerful intercession for the saints.
Church Year.Net has an excellent collection of Collects for Ascension. Here is one from the Church of South India:
O God, whose blessed Son,
our great high priest,
has entered once for all into the Holy Place
and ever liveth to intercede on our behalf:
grant that we,
sanctified by the offering of his body
may draw near with full assurance of faith
by the way which he has dedicated for us
and evermore serve thee, the living God;
through the same thy Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
O Father, and the the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.
— Church of South India