1 min read
02 May

This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the optional Collect for the Ascension of the Lord. There are two options for the opening prayer this week, but the petition of this prayer has been on my mind. While short and sweet, and it has a lot going on.

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who believe that your Only Begotten Son, our Redeemer, ascended this day to the heavens, may in spirit dwell already in heavenly realms. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

I love how the prayer describes Jesus: His divinity as the Only Begotten Son and his humanity as our Redeemer. The Lamb of God who took on flesh, who sacrificed Himself to redeem us, ascended into Heaven.

He ascended into heaven on this day, too. If you’ve noticed that the prayers of the Church mention “this day” it is because the action of God is always present in the church. We are always being renewed, we are always being forgiven, the work and the glory of Christ is always and eternally present. HIs action is always today.

The main petition of the prayer is that we may in spirit dwell already in heavenly realms.

That is an amazing thought, but it’s not exactly new. Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 2 verse 6 that God “raised us up with him [Jesus], and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus.” In spirit we are already there. In the prayer we ask the we will dwell, or abide, there.

St. John Chrysostom wrote, "But that He has made us sit with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, how does this hold? It holds as truly, as that He has raised us together. For as yet no one is actually raised, excepting that inasmuch as the Head has risen, we also are raised.” He continues “For since the Head sits, the body sits also with it.”

By the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, the heavenly realms already dwell in us. Let that sink in. Our prayer asks that we would be present to the heavenly realms within us. Perhaps the Lord’s Prayer says it best, “on earth as it is in heaven.”

I challenge you to spend some time with this prayer and with the Scriptures. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what it is like to be seated with Jesus. When this realization starts to settle in, it should change not only what we say or how we act, but it should change how we pray.

You and I are not earthly creatures reaching up to heaven, we are heavenly creatures bring God’s love to the world. We are the ones who partner with God when we beg, “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

May you have a blessed Feast of the Ascension and may His Kingdom come through you and me.

Thanks for praying with me,

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