Lent rebuilds marriages, as we commune with the Perfect Husband who gave Himself wholly for His Bride. – Peter Leithart
We are considering this season how we can begin to re-orient our attention to the Crucified Lord. There is a brokenness that takes place at Genesis 3; a relational brokenness. And this is why seasons like these help us to re-focus on that brokenness and find a rationale to re-energize our loyalty to Jesus our Lord.
Lent helps us to see ourselves as God sees us: marred by sin, but justified in Christ. And in this recognition we begin to grasp that our personal and corporate relationship with our Lord is always in need of refining, and Christ is committed to refining us.
Christ is the perfect husband and the more we commune with him the more we understand his ways and his desires for us.
Christ is not a despotic husband. He serves and serves and loves and loves and he dies for our sake; to show us that no greater love exists than that of a Lord who gives Himself wholly for His Bride.
The Church celebrates the Ascension of our Lord this Thursday. Since most churches are not able to have Thursday services, traditionally many of them celebrate Ascension on Sunday.
The Ascension of Jesus is barely mentioned in the evangelical vocabulary. We make room for his birth, death, and resurrection, but we tend to put a period where God puts a comma.
If the resurrection was the beginning of Jesus’ enthronement, then the ascension is the establishment of his enthronement. The Ascension activates Christ’s victory in history. The Great Commission is only relevant because of the Ascension. Without the Ascension the call to baptize and disciple would be meaningless. It is on the basis of Jesus’ enthronement at the right-hand of the Father, that we image-bearers can de-throne rulers through the power and authority of our Great Ruler, Jesus Christ.
The Ascension then is a joyful event, because it is the genesis of the Church’s triumph over the world. Further, it defines us as a people of glory and power, not of weakness and shame. As Jesus is ascended, we too enter into his ascension glory (Col. 3:1) This glory exhorts us to embrace full joy. As Alexander Schmemann once wrote:
“The Church was victorious over the world through joy…and she will lose the world when she loses its joy…Of all accusations against Christians, the most terrible one was uttered by Nietzsche when he said that Christians had no joy.”
But this joy is given to us by a bodily Lord.
We know that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. He is ruling and reigning from his heavenly throne. He has given the Father the kingdom, and now he is preserving, progressing, and perfecting his kingdom. He is bringing all things under subjection.
We know that when he was raised from the dead, Jesus was raised bodily. But Gnostic thinking would have us assume that since Jesus is in heaven he longer needs a physical body. But the same Father who raised Jesus physically, also has his Son sitting beside him in a physical body. As one author observed:
Jesus has gone before us in a way we may follow through the Holy Spirit whom he has sent, because the way is in his flesh, in his humanity.
Our Lord is in his incarnation body at the right hand of the Father. This has all sorts of implications for us in worship. We are worshipping a God/Man; one who descended in human flesh and who ascended in human flesh. He is not a disembodied spirit. He is truly God and truly man.
As we consider and celebrate the Ascension of our blessed Lord, remember that you are worshiping the One who understands your needs, because he has a body just like you; he understands your joy because he has a body just like you.
 Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World. Paraphrased