Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


Shelton, Henry - VM - Jonathan Evens

Henry Shelton: Ascension
by Jonathan Evens
Where is Jesus now?
Not here! Jesus has left the building.
The last we saw of him
was the soles of his feet
as he ascended to heaven.
Where is Jesus now?
No longer God with us,
now God in heaven,
distant, removed,
out of our league.
What is he like?
We do not know – we cannot see him!
What does he say
We do not know – we cannot hear him.
What is he to us?
We do not know – he is not with us.
Where is Jesus now?
Here in body.
Here in what body?
Here in the body of his people,
in the diverse, differing, fallible,
forgiven folk who follow him
forming his body on earth,
becoming his hands and feet,
his eyes, ears and mouth
on earth.
Where is Jesus now?
Here in Spirit.
Here in what Spirit?
The Spirit of love,
joy, peace and hope.
The Spirit that
animates his body
into acts of service
and words of love.
Who are we
to be where Jesus is now?
Only the struggling,
the failing, the falling.
Only those calling out
for the Spirit’s empowering.
Where are we
who are where Jesus is now?
Only a fragment
- the minutest part -
of the glorious whole
that is his body
on earth.
How do we feel
to be where Jesus is now?
Affirmed and humbled,
gifted and graced,
on top of the world
and put in our place.
What does it mean
to be where Jesus is now?
Like children becoming adult
to grow up into him,
together becoming him.
Each playing our part
in the whole that is Jesus,
Emmanuel, God with us.
Henry Shelton and Jonathan Evens have published Mark of the Cross, a book of 20 poetic meditations on Christ’s journey to the cross and reactions to his resurrection and ascension. The meditations are complemented by a set of semi-abstract watercolours of the Stations of the Cross and the Resurrection created by Henry Shelton. 
Henry Shelton, Ascension, watercolour and ink on paper, 135mm x 180mm, 2010.
Jonathan Evens paints in a symbolic expressionist style and is a creative writer (meditations, poetry, short stories, and a blog). He has facilitated the involvement of churches in a range of public art projects. His arts journalism has featured in a range of publications. He is the Vicar of St John the Evangelist Seven Kings and Secretary of commission4mission.
Henry Shelton trained as an apprentice draughtsman in a London studio developing his drawing skills in lettering and fine art before setting up his own studio and receiving many commissions to design for such clients as the Science Museum, Borough Councils, private and corporate bodies. His Church commissions include: All Saints Goodmayes, All Saints Hutton, Church of the Saviour Chell Heath, St Lukes Chapel Queen Hospital Romford, and St Pauls Goodmayes.
ArtWay Visual Meditation May 20, 2012