Yesterday was Trinity Sunday, in which we reflect on the One true God who consists of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That God is a unity of distinct persons means that we can accurately say that He is love, love being at the very essence of God, since love–even human love–can be defined as a unity of distinct persons. Christians worship the Triune God, a very different kind of deity from that of all other religions.
Have a happy, but thoughtful Memorial Day. I know it’s mainly become just the beginning of the summer holidays, the first bratwurst of summer (in the words of Those Darned Accordians). Enjoy that part of it, but the holiday was started as a commemoration of the war dead. It’s been extended for many people as a day to remember all of the dead, to decorate graves and to reflect on the memory of family members and other loved ones who have died. It so happens that for the first time in a long, long time, we are close by the cemetery where generations of my family members have been buried. We loaded up with flowers and are going to participate in that custom of adorning the graves. I’m really looking forward to that. We too may end up in that cemetery some day. I guess I’ve gotten to the age where that thought really doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s going to be very meaningful.
At any rate, as we have done before on this blog, use this space to write a memorial to someone you would like to remember on this day.
Yesterday was Ascension Sunday. (The actual Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter, the time the risen Christ remained on earth, was last Thursday.) It commemorates something important and profound: the now-and-still Incarnate Son of God, His work of redemption complete, returning to His Father and assuming His eternal place in the Holy Trinity.
Some people think Ascension Day means that Jesus isn’t here anymore. (I have heard that put forward as a way to deny His presence in Holy Communion!) But what it really means is that now He can be present in all times and places (particularly Holy Communion!) because the Ascended Christ fills all things (Ephesians 1:20-23).
Christ’s Ascension has to do with His Incarnation, which, according to the Athanasian Creed, was “not by conversion of the divinity into flesh, but by “the assumption of the humanity into God.” Think of that! Our human nature, taken on by Christ, has been taken “into God.” This is why, in connection to Holy Communion, Christ’s body and blood, elements of his and our physical human nature, can be distributed to us human beings in our own times and places. What are some other implications of “the assumption of the humanity into God”?
This is the first of May, celebrated as a spring festival in many cultures as May Day and appropriated by Marxists as the International Workers’ Holiday. This is the Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving for those who believe religion is the opiate of the people but who still have a need for holidays. For the importance of the day for the Communist party see this: May Day – About the International Workers’ Holiday. May Day marches are being planned in many of America’s cities, with leftists demonstrating for immigration reform and other causes. (Search for the term on Google News.)
Marxism is still around, despite the fall of the Soviet Union. Do you think it will come back in vogue, or back in power?
In the sermon for the third Sunday of Easter, based on John 21:1-19, in which the disciples saw Jesus while they were fishing, Pastor Douthwaite related Easter to vocation:
Jesus has not changed, and Easter does not mean that He is now done all His work and now it’s up to us. No, He is still working. What He did before Easter He now does after Easter. And Jesus is not just now all “spiritual” – He is still working through the physical, through their calling, or vocation, as fishermen. That didn’t change and won’t change. What changed is the disciples. What changed is us. Jesus’ death and resurrection was not to make Jesus new, but to make us new. To raise us from sin, fear, and death to a new life in Him. Not a new super-spiritualized life, but a new life in your callings, or vocations. Not to take us out of this world, but to make us new in this world. And we see that in Peter. He is a changed man. And so are you.