Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Elijah Ascends



Elijah roars off heavenwards in his chariot of fire; not a bad attempt to visualise the all but unimaginable, I think.

It's the work of Sussex stained glass firm Cox and Barnard and occupies a nave window in the mainly Victorian church of St Mary, Newick, where it crests a conventional representation of the two prophets, Elijah and Elisha- the master and his disciple. it's dated 1987. The story of Elijah's ascension (II Kings 2) doesn't often show up in Christian art, but it's one of my favourite Old Testament narratives- a masterpiece of folk-arty story telling, suspenseful, moving and building up to an ending that strains the limits of what's sayable. I remember once reading it as the lesson in church- and how something took over and rendered my pacing and delivery flawless- which they rarely were- and how I knew (because one knows these things) that I was holding the congregation spellbound.

"My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof".
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