Fr. John Dally’s teaching about the meaning of the Ascension has stuck with me all these years, since he was assistant priest at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Park Ridge, Illinois and I was just entering the discernment process that led to my ordination.
Fr. Dally told us about the risen Jesus ascending into heaven, returning to take his place in the Trinity, but bearing the wounds of his humanity. The Son who is “seated at the right hand of the Father,” as we say in the Apostles’ Creed (BCP 96), bears the marks of the crown of thorns and raises a pierced hand in blessing.
God was changed by God’s encounter with us, and the Christ of the eternal Trinity still bears the scars.
A Collect for Guidance
Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of this life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 100)
Just as we “live and move and have our being” here on earth in the presence and care of God and do well to remember that fact in the middle of our busy lives, we also “live and move and have our being” in God in the person of the ascended Jesus.
Not only are we “ever walking in God’s sight,” we are ever-present in God’s own heart.