Heaven at hand

Daily Reading for June 7 • The Pioneers of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, 1890

The ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven does not separate him from us; rather, it involves us with him in the same destiny and the same way. For though he left the world, he did not leave his human nature. There is humanity in heaven now. This is the extraordinary thing which we are compelled to affirm again and again on this great festival. Humanity itself has been taken up into God. As the Fourth Gospel portrayed it at the very beginning, “Do you believe because I said I saw you under the fig tree? I tell you, you shall see the angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” The ladder of Jacob’s dream is now open to all of us in a constant to and fro access with heaven itself. Because of that it is possible for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and Ascension Day challenges us to ascend in heart and mind, yes, even in our bodily action, where he has gone before.

“Go and tell my brothers, for I am now ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God,” for your relationship is to be the same now, “that where I am, you may be also.” I have taken humanity into the Godhead—there is your place, which I have gone to prepare for you. Live in God and let the life of God live in you, and refuse the old idea that heaven is distant from the life of this world, for it is no longer. The barriers have all been broken down.

From “I Am Ascending” in The Incarnate God by John V. Taylor. Copyright © 2003. A Continuum book used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. www.morehousepublishing.com

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