A dear, familiar Friend
the implications of Jesus' continuing incarnationMonday 20 February 2017 by Ad Taylor-Weekes
At our recent weekend away we considered the implications of Jesus' ascension under the title, "Jesus Ascended: What on earth is Jesus doing now?"
In my reading for this topic I followed the recommendation of Gerrit Scott Dawson (author of "Jesus Ascended") and bought a copy of "The Ascended Christ" by Henry Swete. I bought a "used" copy from Amazon and found that, rather than simply a book on the Ascension, I had acquired someone's former treasure! The book, originally presented as a gift on 30th May 1911 at the Leeds Clergy School Festival, included a previous owner's own handwritten notes and various newspaper clippings all reflecting on the Ascension.
I quoted from one of the clippings twice in one talk on the weekend and thought I'd publish the quotes here as they were so rich! They were penned by Rev. Dr. W. E. Sangster:
Our humanity is carried into heaven. One of the darkest doubts which can attack any believer in great personal pain or distress is the thought that God reigns in some far-off splendour untroubled by his woe. 'What can my breaking heart matter in the vastness of this Universe?' he asks himself. God is not untroubled by our woe. There are scars in heaven. 'The dear tokens of His passion; Still His dazzling body bears.' Let all who suffer comfort themselves with this"
On the other side of death is a dear, familiar Friend. All normal people fear death. God ordains it so. He put a solemn sentinel at the exit of life lest some passing pique or sharp disappointment might make us turn to it too readily. In a hard life like this, tempted men and women need help against the sin of self-slaughter. But what abates the fear for a Christian? When he hears God's summons and the time has come to go, what helps him to go with courage? The assurance that on the other side of death is a dear, familiar Friend"
All of the talks for our weekend away can now be accessed here.