[Rough Draft]

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the glorious assumption

the glory which thou hast given to me, i have given to them . . . . father, i desire that they also, whom thou hast given to me, may be w/ me where i am, to behold my glory which thou hast given to me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world (jn. 17.22, 24)
when we ponder the significance of the words just quoted, we see that the feast of the assumption must be one of the most humanistic festivals in the calendar of the church. it is not just a celebration of mary (though she is celebrated in it as an individual as well as a type and representative), it is @ the same time a celebration of redeemed humanity. sometimes theologians have in the name of xtianity denigrated the human race, dwelling on our sins and depravity, as if they could glorify god only by putting down man and emphasizing the infinite difference b/tw creator and creature. but surely that is not god's way and is contrary to his intentions as xtns have been taught to understand them. irenaeus, in some often quoted words, declared: 'the glory of god is a man fully alive [remember matt?]; and the life of man consists in beholding god.' these words give clear expression to what we understand by 'assumption.' god created human beings in his own image that they might enjoy communion w/ him, he sent his eternal son as the one who descended that he might also ascend again and bring w/ him the men and women whom he had gained in the world to share his glory w/ him. we are now coming in sight of the full scope of the dogma of the glorious assumption, and we can see it as one of the most hopeful and encouraging items in the church's belief, and one that gathers up the implications of many other doctrines, xtological, soteriological, anthropological and so on.

(from john macquarrie, mary for all xtns (grand rapids, mich.: eerdman's, 1990): 92)


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