HomeFr Kevin writes...

A new perspective

Dear Friends,

After the laboured grind of lockdown and the confinement and shrinking our own little worlds, the hope of getting away this Summer for a break, maybe even on holiday, is something many of us look forward to. Especially after the best part of two years of being grounded, some of us will be looking forward to the time when we night even take to the skies again: to be lifted out of the everyday to see the world, and life itself with a new perspective.

The lifting up of Jesus at the Ascension offers us a new perspective on life today. It is very tempting to view the Ascension of Jesus as a bit of an afterthought: perhaps merely another of Jesus' resurrection appearances to his disciples, albeit the final one.

But what the Ascension of Jesus forces us to do is to lift our eyes from our earth-bound existence, to deliver us from our time-bound tunnel vision so that we may see God's purposes for the world and for ourselves from the perspective of eternity. The ascending Christ says to his disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…" Matt 28.18-19. We serve a unique risen and ascended Lord. The resurrected and ascended human Christ is also the cosmic Christ, "the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, all times belong to him and all ages".

Moreover, if we, who are baptized into Christ and are therefore united with him, then also have a share in his destiny. St Paul contrasts the fate of those who live for earth-bound glory, vanity and self-indulgence are on the way to destruction, with those who have hope in Christ, of whom he writes, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, Phil 3.20-21.

As Christians, we are to see ourselves from a new perspective: as citizens of heaven, eyes fixed on Jesus and on eternity, "where true joys are to be found".

As we recover from the pandemic, and rebuild and restore our personal lives and the life of our church and community, what, or rather who, will you and I fix our eyes on? Will we work to become rulers of our own little empires, or will we instead see ourselves as honoured citizens and servants of the Kingdom of God, and beloved subjects of the King?

With love and prayers,

Fr Kevin.