Forsaking the world?

Get this: 1937, a Russian Orthodox theologian in France:

Is there a ladder between heaven and earth and do the angels of God ascend and descend upon it? Or is this ladder only a convenient emergency exit for those who wish to be “saved” by forsaking the world? Is our Lord’s Ascension into heaven the very last, and, so to speak, culminating act of our salvation? Or is there something else that follows after it, something new, in the second coming of Christ into the world, the Parousia, which is not only judgment but at the same time the beginning of a new, eternal abiding of our Lord on earth? [1]

Fr. Bulgakov diagnoses us accurately: how often our gospel is about forsaking the earth, but that’s not the gospel of Jesus. The Kingdom is here, among you, now. The ladder is no longer about angels coming down and up, but the body of Christ in action, bringing the grace of God and returning worship to him.

  1. [1]Sergius Bulgakov, The Wisdom Of God, 1937