Ascension Sunday, 2005

“He is not dead. He is risen. Amen.”

The question comes up concerning the resurrection. Was He an etheric body risen, or flesh? But the answer is in the Gospel, in Luke Chapter 24, verse 39. “Jesus said, ‘Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I; feel me and understand, for spirit has no flesh and bones, as you see I have.’” Still they did not believe so he ate for them to further prove to them that he was risen. And Luke goes on to describe how He lectured to them on the scriptures and opened their minds and after blessing them went up to heaven. He told them that they should wait in the city of Jerusalem and that they would be clothed with power from on high. While they waited they worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they were always in the temple, praising and blessing God.

Now Jerusalem, as the Lord Himself teaches in the Gospel according to Matthew Chapter 5, verse 35: “is the city of the great King.” It does not lie in a depression, or in a low situation, but is built on a high mountain, and there are mountains around it. But that city also is called Jerusalem, to which none of those upon the earth ascends, nor goes in; but every soul that possesses by nature some elevation and some acuteness to perceive the things of the mind is a citizen of that city.” The Christ soul as the highest ideal led the disciples to the level of the abode of the Lord where their affection for the highest enabled Him to bless and strengthen them. And as they aspired they became aware of their shortcomings and lost sight of the Christ-soul as He disappeared in the Christ. They had to continue their work on the lower planes, having been blessed by His presence. Their limitations were necessary for the fulfilling of their spiritual work.

The worshipping signifies the devotion and aspiration of these qualities which were awaiting union with the highest. The temple typifies the veiled mysteries of inner being before whose presence they bowed in adoration, mindful of the glories which await them. “I come again,” said Jesus, “and receive you unto myself that where I am there ye shall be also.” Interpreting that promise as being for today; interpret it spiritually, and you have what it was meant to impart. Our Dear Lord is always coming in like manner as we have seen him go. The cloud of new, harsher conditions has veiled Him from our sight for a time, but He has not really gone; He has but called us upward, bidding us to aspire through those very conditions to the place He has prepared for us in the everlasting Kingdom. And He will come back to us with a greater fullness of life and power when we can receive him again with the heart of a little child.

I would like to close with a quote from R. J. Campbell in his sermon The Saviorhood of Christ.

In an hour of heaviness not so very long ago, there was whispered into my mind with a new force and meaning, and with an intensity which I cannot convey to you by speech, the verse:

Faint not, nor fear,
His arms are near;
He changeth not,
and thou art dear;
Only believe, and thou shalt see,
That Christ is in all to thee.

And now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, three Persons in one God, be ascribed all honour, might, majesty, power and dominion, now and for evermore. Amen.

Lee Dunn

May 8, 2005

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