Ascended Not Absent

This very much fits into the ascending paradigm of “calling out” government. This becomes the church’s prophetic mission.
How different really is this from the old Religious right? What seems to divide right and left on this is simply what they wish to call the government out on.
This is where the question of cosmology gets important. If we forget how the ancient cosmology worked we miss that Jesus reigning is far more active than “the church should be a moral scourge”.
How might we contrast John the Baptist “calling out” Herod for taking his brother’s wife vs. Jesus not doing so? Did Jesus not care about marital fidelity? Why didn’t anyone call out the pedophile Tiberius?
He acquired a reputation for still grosser depravities that one can hardly bear to tell or be told, let alone believe. For example, he trained little boys (whom he termed tiddlers) to crawl between his thighs when he went swimming and tease him with their licks and nibbles; and unweaned babies he would put to his organ as though to the breast, being by both nature and age rather fond of this form of satisfaction. 2 Left a painting of Parrhasius’s depicting Atalanta pleasuring Meleager with her lips on condition that if the theme displeased him he was to have a million sesterces instead, he chose to keep it and actually hung it in his bedroom. The story is also told that once at a sacrifice, attracted by the acolyte’s beauty, he lost control of himself and, hardly waiting for the ceremony to end, rushed him off and debauched him and his brother, the flute-player, too; and subsequently, when they complained of the assault, he had their legs broken.*.html
Tiberius makes Herod look tame.
Furthermore if you don’t have a vivid imagination of a God who will come in judgment the whole narrative of “earthly rules had better beware” falls apart too. It becomes a political version of “O be careful little eyes what you see…”
Cosmology mattered to the ancients because the flow of history was from heaven to earth. This was why so many were astrologers. Today we look to environmentalists, economists and technologists.
We should also not forget that Jesus flying in itself was important. He needed no chariot of fire like Elijah. He was Lord of Heaven and Earth and therefore not only the winds obeyed him stilling the storm but they could hold him aloft. He re-connects heaven and earth, undoing the divorce of Genesis 3.
Finding the message of Ascension day to be a political “o be careful…” is a reduction. It is God as moral example rather than
2 O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.
For more on the Religious Right going to see review this from January.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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