The Ascension of Our Lord
May 29, 2014
He is Risen and Ascended. He is Risen and Ascended Indeed! Alleluia!
Today is the Ascension of Our Lord. To mark this festival the LC-MS congregations in the Upstate have a joint worship service. We gather at Good Shepherd in Greenville as it is the most centrally located of our congregations. You can find out more by reading the post concerning this service posted earlier this week.
This coming Sunday is the Seventh (and last) Sunday of Easter. It is also the Commemoration of Justin, Martyr. As is standard for the liturgical calendar we use, there are no special propers for this commemoration. We will, however, remember Justin in our prayers. Information about Justin can be found in the June newsletter. You can find the newsletter by clicking on the newsletter page of this blog.
For our liturgy Sunday we will use the service of Matins (page 219). This is one of the “Prayer Hours.” As such, we do not celebrate communion with this service. We continue to use the Easter options and the Benedictus. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 68:1-10 (antiphon: v. 32).
The appointed lessons for Sunday are Acts 1:12-26, 1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11 and John 17:1-11. The text for Sunday’s message is John 17:1. The message is titled “Cross and Glory” Our opening hymn will be “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today!” (LSB 457). Our sermon hymn will be “In the Cross of Christ I Glory” (LSB 427). Our closing hymn will be “Stay with Us” (LSB 879). This is the second week we are singing “Stay with Us.” This “new” hymn was selected by the hymnal review committee as one worth learning, so we are. Just a couple more weeks and it won’t seem so strange or difficult when it is occasionally used.
Below is a video of the King’s College Choir, singing our opening hymn, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today!”
Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We will finish Colossians and pick something new.
What now follows is a summary of the lessons provided by the LCMS.
Our Lord Jesus Is with Us in the Upper Room of His Church on Earth
On the night when He was betrayed, our Lord Jesus prayed for His apostles and His Church on earth. “The hour” had come when the Father would glorify His Son by the cross (John 17:1). Through the shedding of His blood, He would bring forgiveness for the sins of the world, and in His resurrection and ascension He would unite all Christians with the Father “that they may be one” with God (John 17:11). He manifested His name to the apostles and gave them the words of the Father to speak in His name. The apostolic witness of His cross and resurrection (Acts 1:21–22) gathers disciples together “with one accord” into the one Body of Christ (Acts 1:14). “Devoting themselves to prayer,” they wait upon the Lord in “the upper room” (Acts 1:13–14), the place of His Holy Supper. Strengthened by the Gospel, Christians bear the cross of Christ in patience and peace, rejoicing to share in His suffering, in order that they “may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13).
1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. 13And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16“Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18(Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20“For it is written in the Book of Psalms,
“‘May his camp become desolate,
and let there be no one to dwell in it’;
“‘Let another take his office.’
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
1 Peter 4:12–19; 5:6–11
4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. …
5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
A Quick Note:
- Don’t forget, you can listen to Easter music throughout the Easter season through live streaming on your internet on Lutheran Public Radio. Also, CLASSIC99.com, which is part of the KUFO family, is playing mostly Easter music.
Well, I pray we will see you at the Ascension service this evening and, of course, Sunday morning.
Easter Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert