PRAYERS FOR ASCENSION DAY MAY 21, 2020
The Ascension of Christ as described in Acts, chapter one, took place 40 days after the Resurrection. Hence, since early in the fourth century the church has celebrated this pivotal event in salvation history on the 40th day after Easter, always a Thursday. The Ascension of Christ is a critical article of our faith because it shows us the completion of God’s intention to redeem the world. God came to us in Christ to share our human life, to die for our redemption, to rise again to new life so that joined to him in dying to sin, we too might be raised to new life in God, and then to complete God’s intention, return to fellowship with God in our full humanity. We will enter the Kingdom of God as Jesus did: in our flesh and blood. Not the flesh and blood we now know, which is corrupted by our sin, but in the new flesh and blood of the resurrection body. In the Ascension of Jesus we see what God has been about all along; in his ascension to God’s kingdom we behold our own.
Invocation: Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
AND BLESSED BE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,
‘TO THE ONE SEATED ON THE THRONE AND TO THE LAMB BE BLESSING AND HONOR AND GLORY AND MIGHT FOREVER AND EVER’.” AMEN. Revelation 5:13
Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy. For the Lord, the most high, is awesome, a great sovereign over all the earth.
HE SUBDUES PEOPLES UNDER US, AND NATIONS UNDER OUR FEET. HE CHOSE OUR HERITAGE FOR US, THE PRIDE OF JACOB WHOM HE LOVES.
God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. SING PRAISES TO OUR GOD, SING PRAISES. SING PRAISES TO OUR SOVEREIGN, SING PRAISES.
For God is king over all the earth; Sing praises with all your skill.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE NATIONS; GOD SITS ON HIS HOLY THRONE. The nobles of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. FOR THE RULERS OF THE EARTH BELONG TO GOD: HE IS HIGHLY EXALTED.
Psalm 47 Psalm Prayer
God of power and righteousness, you stand in power over all authorities, and you rule over all governments. Let the peoples of earth rejoice and the leaders of nations follow the way of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, in whose name we pray. AMEN.
Reading: Acts 1: 6-11
“On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father.” The Apostles’ Creed
“Christ left us in such a way that his presence might be more useful to us – a presence that had been confined in a humble abode of flesh so long as he sojourned on earth....As his body was raised up above all the heavens, so his power and energy were diffused and spread beyond all the bounds of heaven and earth.” John Calvin,” Institutes of the Christian Religion”
“Christ received from us the earnest of the flesh, and has carried it with him into heaven as a pledge of that complete entirety which is one day to be restored to it. Be not disquieted, O flesh and blood, with any care; in Christ you have acquired both heaven and the Kingdom of God.” Tertullian, “On the Resurrection of the Flesh”
Eternal God, by raising Jesus from the dead you proclaimed his victory over sin and death, and by his ascension you declared him Lord of all creation. By your Holy Spirit so unite our lives to his that we may join you in perfect union in the heavenly places, where with the Christ and the Holy Spirit you reign forever and ever. Amen.
See the conqueror mounts in triumph,
See the King in royal state, Riding on the clouds his chariot. To his heavenly palace gate. Hark! The choirs of angel voices, Joyful Alleluias sing, And the portals high are lifted, To receive their heavenly King.
He has raised our human nature, On the clouds to God’s right hand; There we sit in heavenly places, There with him in Glory stand: Jesus reigns, adored by angels, We with God are on the throne! Mighty Lord, in thine Ascension We by faith behold our own.
Christopher Wordsworth, 1862
Bless the Lord.
THANKS BE TO GOD.