This Sunday 16 May is the Sunday after Ascension. Ascension is the moment in the Gospel story where Jesus, having died, risen and kept on teaching his core disciples for several weeks, finally leaves them ascends to heaven.
It’s a dramatic point in the story and concludes some very stark and vivid teaching (the Gospel of John, in particular, spends a lot of time on this period).
In the mystical tradition, Ascension represents the non-dual reality of the Divine. Beyond the well-trod path of epiphany, purification, illumination, union with the Divine (in which there is still a Self and a Divine Other), stands a further stage in which the Self is surrendered.
Bernadette Roberts, a Catholic non-dual mystic, talks about this phase as losing the sense that there is even an inside and an outside. She says that at the Ascension, far from simply disappearing, Christ “disappears” into all living reality in a union of the formless with form.
In the Acts, the disciples continue to look to the sky seeking after Jesus until an angel tells them to stop searching for Him “up there”.
In the Eucharist we celebrate this deepest of mysteries: that the Divine is never absent, that She is as close as our very breath, as intimate as the dearest lover. We cultivate this understanding through the sacrament until, in our own journey of discovery we are able to realise it in ourselves.
Come and join us for a chapel service this Sunday to dwell in the mystery and to give thanks.
I’m away from next Friday for a couple of weeks at the AJC global conclave in Wisconsin, so there won’t be a service while I’m away. That’s the reason for the change in service date.
I’d love a chance to see you before I go and ask for your blessing on my journey.
15 Francis St, Darlinghurst
The service this Sunday will be a “Sophianic Eucharist”. The service praises Sophia or Holy Wisdom as the immanent, feminine face of the Divine and celebrates the sacred marriage between the immanent and transcendent aspects of Spirit. The service features prayer and chant and the sharing of the Body and the Blood in the form of bread and wine.
Please stay for a light supper after the service.