Feast of Saints Simon and Jude[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 66 (morning) // 116, 117 (evening)
Our epistle this morning unravels a mystery of faith by using some obvious facts of space and time. The passage cites a verse that resembles Psalm 68:18, referring to a God who has “ascended on high.” The writer reasons that nothing can “ascend” if it hasn’t previously descended. According to this logic, if we claim that God “ascends,” then we must assume that God has also descended (so God has somewhere to ascend from).
In other words, God can’t go up to the heavens unless God has also come down to earth. As the passage writes of the Psalm, “When it says ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens.”
It is a basic tenet of Christian theology, and a basic fact of space and time, that a God who ascends to the heights must have first come down to the depths. And God’s movement from depths to heights somehow doesn’t pull the cosmos apart, but holds it all together. Whether we look up, or look down, or look within, this God is there, “above all and through all and in all.” We may not always feel God’s presence, but we can be sure that God is in places as high and as low as we can possibly imagine.
Lora Walsh blogs about the Daily Office readings at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.