‘A new way of seeing’

a  short liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension

REACHING OUT
Jesus
when you ascended from the earth
you were not lifted out of the world
but taken back into God…

In returning to the Father
you did not leave reality behind
but went deeper into its heart…

In moving beyond sight
you did not become invisible
but opened up a new way of seeing…

May this time now
be one of reconnection,
of deepening, and of opening;
that through it
I may begin to see, know, and act
with an enriched, expanded, and enlivened
understanding.

 you are invited to keep a time of silence

RECOGNITION AND RESHAPING
Jesus
At a decisive moment of transition
you showed your disciples a different way to see the past
that they could better understand the present
and so prepare for the future.

Forgive me that I too have sometimes clung
to the comfort of old ways of seeing,
missing a richer understanding of the moment
and a more expansive view of what might be.

Where I am tempted to hold on tight
help me to relax my grip
so that I too can be ready
for that explosive enlivening
of the spirit
which disrupts inertia,
liberating the future
and so changing
the world that will become.
Amen

READING: Lk 24: 44-53

REFLECTION: Cold, Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991) by Cornelia Parker

Podcast for the Ascension from St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow on Vimeo. from Dr Deborah Lewer of the University of Glasgow 

you are invited to keep a time of silence

RESPONSE
you might like to light a candle with each stanza

Jesus
As you light up the past
with all its seeming solidities,
may I remember with a new and more lucid understanding,
and so live more richly in the present.

As you light up the present
with all its fractures and fragments,
may I see, with a new and more expanded understanding,
the play and pattern of its future possibilities.

As you light up the future
with all its potential waiting to be given form,
may I live with a new and more lively understanding
of how to shape and share your coming Kingdom.

REORIENTATION
Jesus
In this moment of transition
help me to move forward
and re-inhabit my life-world
with new imagination
and fresh energy –
ready to engage
with whatever calling
you will set before me
Amen

Liturgy © Pat Bennett, the Iona Community

This liturgy and podcast were prepared in partnership with St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow and with Dr Deborah Lewer, Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow.  Other reflective podcasts by Debbie with accompanying liturgies by Pat can be found here, along with a selection of other essays and reflections on art and faith by Debbie.

The transcript for today’s podcast can be downloaded  here and a PDF of the liturgy (with podcast link embedded) here

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