The second cause is the Ascension of the Lord, when He is exalted over the earth and crosses the threshold back into eternity from where He came. But, you see, He did not come from eternity bearing humanity. He returned to it (eternity) bearing humanity, clothed in humanity, not in a garment that one takes off, but in that which has become part of Him.
With our humanity, the Son of God crosses the threshold of eternity, and this is also another cause that has an effect in the very heart of things. And that effect is that the life of God is poured out upon the world, as a result of the entry of a piece of that world into eternity in the ascended body of the Lord. So there is cause and effect, and action and reaction in the work of God, in the very heart of things.
That life-giving power, as wind and as fire–not wind and fire but as wind and as fire–came down during Pentecost and drove the apostles forth to breathe on the world, as God had breathed on them; and we, upon whom the grace of God has blown, have grown bright and radiant as lightning transformed with an alteration strange and beautiful. Well, that is an introduction to what the alteration is. Now we must speak of the alteration itself–its strangeness and its beauty.
The alteration that we have received, that has been breathed upon us, that has made us strange and beautiful, is that we have received what Jesus our Lord speaks of in the Gospel as the gift of God, the living water. In receiving it, we have become sources of it. The living water has come to us and now gushes up within us unto life everlasting.
What is life everlasting? It is the life of the one God in three Persons, and those three Persons live inside each other. They do not live external to each other, but within each other. Though they live within each other, their unique Personhood is in no way diminished but magnified.
The great iconographer Andrei Rublev has, as far as it is possible to do so with art, captured that in the icon of The Trinity. All of the three Persons are shown there as having eyes only for each other, the Son and Spirit having their source, their origin in the Father. Yet the Son and the Spirit do not have an origin and source in time but in the Father. So in that eternity, they live in each other!
How great a mystery that is for creatures like us who have endured the curse of the fall and death and live outside of each other–and outside the one God in three persons. God partially reveals Himself, but the reason why the revelation is partial in the Old Covenant is that you still can’t get in! “Moses, you have seen My back, but you cannot see my face” [God says].