The final surrounding vignette in the Life of Christ icon depicts when our Lord ascended back on high. The readings – Psalm 47, Acts 1:1-11, and Luke 24:44-53 – give us the anticipated messianic enthronement hoped for, the event of the Ascension itself, and the promise of the Holy Spirit after the ascension respectively. In reflecting on this amazing event, we bask in the knowledge that Jesus is indeed in control, and shares the fruits of reign by interceding for us and granting his very Spirit to all who trust him. Let us rejoice, our Ascended Savior reigns! Good News this is indeed!
The next vignette in our journey through the Life of Christ icon is our Lord’s appearance to Thomas in his moment of doubt about the Resurrection. Our lessons (Psalm 150, Revelation 1:4-8, & John 20:24-29) open the eyes of our faith so we might trust in the promise we have yet to see and rejoice in the power Christ has already demonstrated over sin and death.
Today’s vignette from the Life of Christ icon brings us to our Lord’s resurrection. And our readings (Psalm 114, 1 Corinthians 15:19-28, & Luke 24:1-12) remind us because of his rescue, like the children of Israel from Egypt, we have victory over death – no longer bound by false hope.
Been preaching, but not posting, in order to assemble a collection of sermons that cover the icon vignettes in the Life of Christ Icon that span Holy Week – the Triumphal Entry, the Last Supper, and the Crucifixion. Listen and reflect along with the readings as you consider those mighty acts by which our Savior brought us from sin and death into holiness and life eternal.
The vignette from the Life of Christ icon about Lazarus picks up on the event of his being raised from the dead, foreshadowing what is just about to come for Jesus a week from this event. The story in John’s Gospel pops up in the lectionary during Lent (Year C – Week 5) and on the Feast of All Saints (Year B). I chose an abridged form of the latter readings (Psalm 24, Revelation 21:1-6, & John 11:38-44) as they captured the promise of the physical resurrection we anticipate, even as we are spiritually risen with Christ by faith now. I hope you find these readings an encouragement to a deeper life of trust in our Lord!
Please forgive the lateness of this post – I was out of town the early part of this week right after service. As the story of Christ’s Transfiguration comes to the fore in our Summer meanderings through the Life of Christ icon, I thought it advantageous to reflect on the Scriptures (Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16-21, & Mark 9:1-8) surrounding this event in a lectio divina-inspired way. In so doing, my prayers is that you might imagine yourself present in this amazing moment of salvation history, and come through it with a deeper commitment to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.
As we see the various people Jesus heals in the icon vignette for today, and as we consider our readings (Psalm 103:1-5, Acts 10:34-43, and Luke 3:15-17, 21-22), we are reminded of how healing is part of God’s plan for his people, as a foretaste of eternity, how Jesus heals the whole person, plus how we are instrumental in God’s plan to bring healing to others as Christ’s kingdom advances.