Tuesday, May 12, 2015
I have prepared a few thoughts by way of assistance in anticipation of this coming Sunday. Ascension Sunday is a significant day in the Church Year and deserves some preparation.
We come now to one of the great celebrations of the Church Year; Ascensiontide. The icon above is a remarkable piece of early Christian Art which attempts to describe the experience. It is the time when we recognize that Christ ascended to the right hand of God to be our Advocate and Judge. It is a season of great joy as we recognize the triumph of Christ not just over sin and death but in his glorious ascent into heaven itself. By way of preparation, let me share with you a few sentences from the Sunday readings we will hear;
The Collect of the day;
“Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.”
The First Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles describes the event:
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” ~Acts:1
And the Gospel appointed for this Sunday includes these words
“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.” ~Luke 24
It is also a day of significance for us at St. John’s. Several young people will be received formally into the Eucharistic Fellowship of the Church.
Release of Butterflies
Please come with us after the service to the playground where we will release butterflies. The Monarch Butterfly is a symbol of the Resurrection to the Early Church. It is suitable that we release these magnificent creatures as a part of our observance of the important feast day both for the Church at large as well as in honor of those making their first communion today.
See you Sunday in Church,