Vicar’s Reflection: 13 May 2018, Sunday after Ascension
The best career move made by any artist is to die. Elvis Presley for instance, who died on 16 August 1977, earned $35 million before tax in 2017 making him the fourth highest income earner of dead celebrities. Higher earning dead artists were Michael Jackson and Charles Schulz the creator of the Peanuts cartoons. Recently work by the artist Claude Monet ‘Le bassin aux nymphéas’ (1919) sold at auction for $US27 million or nearly $NZ39m; considered a rather low price for such a work. Artists often struggle both within themselves and against society to have their work accepted. It is ironic that after they are gone their work is highly valued and they are recognised as great artists. Once they are gone of course, there is no possibility of any more work being produced. There will be no more Picasso or Monet paintings; no more Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley songs. Last Thursday was the feast of the Ascension. This marks the last physical connection that the disciples had with Jesus after his death and resurrection. A challenge that faced Jesus was to get his disciples to focus on the task they had been commissioned to do. To motivate them to do more than hanging about waiting for the next time he turned up. By ascending beyond their sight and reinforcing their global mission they began to understand they must go one with the work Jesus started. Each new disciple a fresh work of art in his name.