5-14-15 Ascension

 

IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH & SCHOOL
The Ascension of our Lord
May 14, 2015

Ascension is the event in which the risen Christ removed His visible presence from the society of men and passed into the heavens.
The Ascension marks, for the Savior, the highest degree of exaltation, as it implies His session at the right hand of God, His entering into the full use, according to His human nature, of the divine attributes, of which He relinquished the full, continued and unintermittent use and enjoyment during His State of Humiliation.
To the Christian doctrine of the Ascension has manifold comforts. Faith and hope for the future of God’s kingdom rest secure in the knowledge that Christ ascended and now is ever and everywhere present and governs and protects His church on earth. There is “a redemption of our body” (Ro 8:23); we shall “bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Co 15:49); “there is a spiritual body” (v 44); our body shall be changed, “that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body” (Ph3:21); “our mortal bodies” are to be “quickened” (Ro 8:11). The future life is not to be one of pure spirit; it is to be “clothed upon” (2 Co 5:2). Best of all, we shall “see Him as He is” (1Jn 3:2).

Prelude:

Evening Prayer
Pastor: Jesus Christ is the Light of the world,
Congr: the light no darkness can overcome.
Pastor: Stay with us, Lord, for it is evening,
Congr: and the day is almost over.
Pastor: Let Your light scatter the darkness
Congr: and illumine Your Church.

(Lighting of the candles – The person on the inside aisle should light their candle off the paschal candle, then pass the light down the aisle. Tip only unlighted candle. Hold lighted candles straight to avoid dripping the wax.)

PROCESSIONAL HYMN – #492
“On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build”
Pastor: The Lord be with you.
Congr: And with thy Spirit.
Pastor: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
Congr: It is right to give Him thanks and praise.
Pastor: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who led Your people Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Enlighten our darkness by the light of Your Christ; may His Word be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path; for You are merciful, and You love Your whole creation and we, Your creatures, glorify You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Congr: Amen.

Special Music – “O Worship the King” Arranged by Linda R Lamb
Hand Bells

Introit

Cantor: God has ascended amid shouts of joy,*
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Cong: The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,*
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
Cantor: The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: *
“Your are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
Cong: The Lord is at your right hand;*
He will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
All: Glory be to the Father and to the Son
And to Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning,*
Is now, and will be forever. Amen
Cantor: God has ascended amid shouts of joy,*
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.

(During the reading the Christ Candle is extinguished to acknowledge Christ’s physical presence has been taken to heaven although He is present with us always. Extinguish candles, hold upright until wax is dry.)

First Reading – Acts 1:1-11
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach
2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Pastor: This is the Word of the Lord.
Congr: Thanks be to God.

Special Music: “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteous”
Michaela Farnsworth

Epistle Reading – Eph. 1:15-23
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Pastor: This is the Word of the Lord.
Congr: Thanks be to God.

Special Music – “At the Name of Jesus” Choir

Gospel Reading – Luke 24:44-53
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Pastor: In many and various ways God spoke to His people of old by the prophets.
Congr: But now in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son.

Collect
Pastor: Let us pray:
All: Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that even as we believe your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind ascend and continually dwell there with him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Pastor: Lord, remember us in Your kingdom, and teach us to pray:
Congr: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hymn #493 “A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing” Verses 1-4
(Please rise for final verse)

Homily – Pastor Farnsworth

Hymn of response: #493 “A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing”
Verses 5 & 6

Offering

Prayer
Pastor: O Lord, we do not deserve a glimpse of heaven, and we are unable with our works to redeem ourselves from sin, death, the devil, and hell. Nevertheless, you have given us your Son, Jesus Christ, who is far more precious and dear than heaven, and much stronger than sin, death, the devil, and hell. For this we rejoice, praise, and thank you, O God. Without cost and out of pure grace you have given us this boundless blessing in your dear Son. Through him you take sin, death, and hell from us, and do grant us all that belongs to him. Amen.
Congr: Amen.

Pastor: Let us bless the Lord.
Congr: Thanks be to God.

Blessing
Pastor: The almighty and merciful Lord, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, bless and preserve you.
Congr: Amen.
Hymn #803 “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”
PRAYER FOR ASCENSION
O King of glory, on this day You ascended in triumph far above all heavens.
We ask Your Spirit’s abiding presence here on earth, within our hearts. Empower us truly to be Your disciples in this life and to be Your companions at the heavenly feast for all eternity.
This we ask for Your love’s sake. Amen.

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