From the Licensed Lay Minister - Ascension

AscensionFor my first degree I studied History of Art and I have always been fascinated by the way that churches have chosen to depict difficult theological subjects to people who were unable to read about them for themselves. During May, we were hearing about Jesus’ ascension to heaven, to sit at the right hand of his Father. Many artists have attempted to depict this with varying success, and the picture on the right is one that I particularly like. The crowd of people are displaying utter amazement on their faces as one might expect, but after that, the picture becomes rather bizarre.

Heavenly blue summer sky, fluffy clouds and then the weird bit, with two feet protruding from the cloud! Laughable in this day and age! However, set yourself the task of explaining this story and see if you can do any better. If nothing else, this story is a strong test of faith. We are told that “He withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven”. The ‘now you see Him now. you don’t’ situation – how hard was that for the simple, uneducated, non-technical folk to whom the story was related. Who would want to be a Renaissance artist commissioned to depict that one!

Jo Johnson