Friday, May 14, 2010

The Ascension of Our Lord

Friday after Easter 6 and Ascension Day
May 14, 2010

The Lord be with you

Yesterday was Ascension Day. This is a high festival day often overlooked by the modern church and unknown by the unchurched. It occurs 40 days after Easter Sunday and so is always on a Thursday. Lamb of God, Abiding Savior, and Good Shepherd, participated in a joint service yesterday which drew about 50 people. Those who did not attend missed a wonderful opportunity to worship the Lord.

I do not remember ever going to an Ascension Day service as I grew up. Perhaps we had one, but I don’t remember. If Pastor Koenig wanted to do something about Ascension, he would move it to Easter 7 (I seem to recall him doing that). However the recognition of the Ascension of Our Lord and its importance seems to be on the rise. I know of at least two other LC-MS churches in our general area that had Ascension Day services.
    “Ascension Day is the coronation celebration of our Lord as He is proclaimed to be King of the universe. Jesus’ ascension to the Father is His entrance to the greater existence beyond the confines of time and space, being no longer [self-]bound by the limitations of His state of humiliation [the time from His conception to His burial]. Jesus now sits at the right hand of God, which Luther correctly taught is everywhere, having again taken up the power and authority that were His since before time. Yet our Lord is present with us who remain bound by time and space. He is with us as true God and true man, exercising His rulership in the Church through the means of grace which He established: His Word and His Sacraments. We mortals, in those means of grace, can grasp the King of the universe and receive a foretaste of the feast to come.” (Treasury of Daily Prayer, CPH, 301)
There is really quite a bit about the Ascension of Jesus in both the Old and New Testaments. One key message from Ascension is that Jesus has more than enough power and authority to keep all his promises. As King of kings and Lord of lords, what he says goes. Behind such promises like “baptism now saves you” (1 Peter 3:21), “whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day” (John 6:54), etc., stands the Ascended Lord. He is more than capable of keeping his promises.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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