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Ascension Day reflection by Archdeacon Stringfellow at Diocesan House

The Bear Went over the Mountain?
by Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow
The Eucharist at Diocesan House on Ascension Day
13 May 2010
 
In the Name of the True and Living God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
 
A senior warden of a prominent Anglo-Catholic parish in the Mid-West said to his priest that the Ascension of the Lord was a case of the bear going over the mountain to see what he could see. This charming anecdote came my way as a cautionary tale from priest to seminarian not to inquire too closely into what the lay people believe.
 
I have taken that advice but, at the same time, have held out to all people at all times that the bodily ascension of the Lord continues the Lord’s bodily resurrection to it full conclusion as St. Paul points out in the Epistle: God the Father raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly place, putting all things under his feet and making him head of all things for the church (Ephesians 1:20-23).
 
That to me is a lot more engaging, a lot more worthy of our worship, than a bear who went over the mountain. Somehow I think: that bear sadly disappoints. But the Lord of Life never does disappoint. The Lord of Life continually engages and delights; the Lord of Life takes us with him, and not just over the mountain. Amen.

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