Cynewulf (possibly the 8th century bishop Cynewulf of Lindisfarne) imagines Christ’s last words to his Apostles, before a cloud came and took him from their sight, never to be seen again – and yet, somehow, never to leave them.
And when he had spoken these things,
while they beheld, he was taken up;
and a cloud received him out of their sight.
“BE glad of heart! Never shall I wander; my love shall follow you unceasingly.* My might I give you, and I am with you always, even unto the end,* that through my gift none shall ever lack God.
“Go now through all this wide earth, to its uttermost bounds,* and tell its multitude; preach and proclaim the bright faith, and baptise the peoples beneath the firmament.*
“Turn unto the heathen.* Break their idols – fell them, abhor them;* abolish enmity,* sow peace in the hearts of men, prospered by my might. I will dwell among you henceforth for your comfort, and in my hand is peace, strength as fast as a pillar,* wherever you may go.”
* Psalm 23:6.
* Acts 13:47.
* Acts 13:46.
* 1 John 5:21.