Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bishop’s Note: May 25, 2017 – The Ascension

Bishop Eric Menees

"So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:6-9)

With this scripture from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles (ACTS) we have the first hand account of Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

Let me ask you… When I say, “Hey what are you doing for the Feast of the Ascension?” what comes to mind? I mean surely you are doing something… right?  Perhaps an Ascension Cake… Angel food of course!

Ok, chances are that you aren’t celebrating the Ascension today.  Too often it is as if Ascension is the forgotten feast in the church. However, if we forget about the Ascension of Jesus then we miss one of the most important parts of Jesus’ ministry and his work would be incomplete.

Like the other feasts of the church, the Ascension is based on a real event from which we draw theological understand that fuels and fortifies our faith.

From that moment to this day Jesus sits upon his throne – making intercession to the Father.  The ascended Jesus sits next to His Father constantly speaking to the Father – sharing his love for you with the very essence of Love – God! The Ascension isn’t about the Son of God going into heaven, abandoning his people – it was about moving to a place of honor and authority to intercede for you and for me.  Every prayer – our deepest hopes and aspirations – are placed before the Father by the Son who loves and cares for us more than we could ask or imagine. 

There is another side to the Ascension that leaves us a little more unsettled.  Jesus sits enthroned upon the Judgment Seat – from this seat Jesus will judge the living and the dead at the end of time.  The question is…how shall we live between the Ascension and the Great Judgment? 

If by the end of reading this Bishop’s Note you ask how shall I mark the Feast of the Ascension? I hope you’ll do so with prayer and corporate worship this Sunday!

Let us pray: “Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.” Amen.

Happy Ascension Day!

Thirty-nine Articles of Religion
XXX. Of Both Kinds

The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord's Sacrament, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.

No comments: