Key Text

Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father."This," he said,"is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

So when they had come together, they asked him,"Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?"
He replied,"It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.
They said,"Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

cited from the NRSV

Image of the week

May 12, 2005

Rublev's Icon of the Trinity
Russian Icon
Andrei Rublev (1360-1430)

For the last image (28 April, 2005), click here.

 

Present Context

For Reflection

The use of Rublev's famous icon of the Trinity on Ascension Sunday and in the context of our discussion of the community might seem a little odd. Yet the nature of our understanding of the Trinity bears direct impact on our understanding of community. The inherent equality depicted in Rublev's icon gives us pause for thought in relation to our own view of others in community.

When the angels asked the disciples immediately in the wake of Jesus' ascension, "Why do you stand looking into heaven?" we might ask, "Where are we supposed to look then?"

To each other?

To the community around us?

Rublev's Icon is incredibly rich, and it is worth reflecting on the image in terms of what it implies about God, and about the place of the christian community (note the open fourth side of the table in which the viewer is drawn into the circle).

Prayer:

Lord, teach us what it is to share communion with you - and with one another - that community might be a daily living experience for those who are in partnership with you. Amen