Thursday, 10 May 2018

Ascension - at St Pauls!

On Monday, on one of the hottest days of the year so far, we climbed the three hundred steps up to the highest gallery of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.  It was our own ascension moment – come three days early! 

Now, our audio guide informed us by the time we were half way up, (at Whispering Gallery level) that by the time the cathedral was nearing completion, its architect, Sir Christopher Wren, was no longer able to climb the scaffolding and inspect the work.  Instead, he was hauled up to the dizzy heights of the dome in a basket!  It all seemed incredibly precarious!

I’ve tried to imagine the scene since. This wonderful architect, who had lived long enough to see his vision for the new St Paul’s become a reality, standing in the Whispering Gallery looking down.  What, I wonder, did he say now his job in its creation was almost complete?

I’d like to think he said something like:  Well, I’ve given you the framework, here’s your new House of God, now fill it with prayer and praise, fill it with music and service.

Now I know Jesus didn’t ascend in a basket but maybe the essence of what he said to his disciples just before being taken from their sight wasn’t so very different:  I’ve given you a framework and this is what the Kingdom of God looks like.  Remember the stories I’ve told you, the moments of compassion we’ve shared and the experiences that have bound us together.  This is what the Kingdom of God feels like – now continue to live it out.

Ascension, it’s both the break in the road and the continuation of the journey.

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