Monday, March 1, 2010
"Alexander Schmemann has beautifully drawn attention to the nature of worship as the Church's weekly ascension to heaven (cf. Ex. 24:9-11; 34:1-8, 29-35; Mark 9:1-29): 'The early Christians realized that in order to become the temple of the Holy Spirit they must ascend to heaven where Christ has ascended. They realized also that this ascension was the very condition of their mission in the world, of their ministry to the world. For there - in heaven - they were immersed in teh new life of the Kingdom; and when, after this "liturgy of ascension," they returned into the world, their faces reflected the light, the "joy and peace" of that Kingdom and they were truly its witnesses. They brought no programs and no theories; but wherever they went, the seeds of the Kigndom sprouted, faith was kindled, life was transfigured, things impossible were made possible. They were witnesses, and when they were asked, "Whence shines this light, where is the source of its power?" they knew what to answer and where to lead men. In church today, we so often find we meet only the same old world, not Christ and His Kingdom. We do not realize that we never get anywhere because we never leave any place behind us.'" Chilton, pp. 332-333.