Ascension of Our Lord
(Seventh Sunday of Easter)
1 June 2014
Commemoration of Jesus' ascension into heaven is one of the earliest Christian festivals dating back to the year 68 AD. It occurs 39 days after Easter. Jesus met several times with his disciples during the 40 days after his resurrection to instruct them how to carry out his teachings. On the 40th day he took them to the Mount of Olives where they watched as he ascended to heaven.
THIS MORNING'S SONG'S OF PRAISE:
257, 252, 329, 333, 161.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
Acts 1: 1-11;
'Jesus' ascension, promise and commission'
In my first book I wrote about all the things that Jesus did and taught from the time he began his work until the day he was taken up to heaven. Before he was taken up, he gave instructions by the power of the Holy Spirit to the men he had chosen as his apostles.
For forty days after his death he appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that he was alive. They saw him, and he talked with them about the Kingdom of God.
And when they came together, he gave them this order: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised.
John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit."
When the apostles met together with Jesus, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time give the Kingdom back to Israel?"
Jesus said to them, "The times and occasions are set by my Father's own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be.
But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
After saying this, he was taken up to heaven as they watched him, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They still had their eyes fixed on the sky as he went away, when two men dressed in white suddenly stood beside them and said, "Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky?
This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven."
SECOND BIBLE READING:
Ephesians 1: 15-23;
'Christ is the supreme Lord over all things' (NIV)
For this reason (God having chosen the Ephesians to be his own), ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
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.
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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 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.
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
'Jesus commissions and blesses the disciples'
'Jesus said to his disciples:,
"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."
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written:
The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things. 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."
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
ACTS 1: 1-11:
The visible ascension was not necessary for Jesus personally, as his glorification and exaltation was in effect actually from after his death and in his resurrection.
It showed the disciples though, and the church, the logical culmination of his ministry which commenced in the humble process of a human birth. Now he concludes his work of salvation and earthly appearances in the supernatural ascension of his human person, thus demonstrating his exaltation and heavenly glorification. The cloud which took him from their sight is strongly reminiscent of the cloud which surrounded visibly the special presence of God among his people during his dealings with Israel. The heavenly messengers appeared consistently at other key points of our Lord's earthly ministry and will appear with him when he comes.
LUKE 24: 44-53:
In this last teaching session with his disciples, Jesus alludes to the importance of all his redeeming activity in God's sweeping plan carried out over thousands of years.
The revelation of law through Moses and prophecy through especially inspired men all had fulfillment in Jesus' redemption. Therefore his work needs proclamation in terms of repentance and forgiveness of sin. The church will continue this work. The disciples returned with joy after their Lord's separation, for they knew that what was taken from them was merely his visible presence.
He was, in reality, with them always.
Bible readings for Sunday 8th June 2014:
Acts 2: 1-21, 1 Cor.12: 3b-13, John 20: 19-23.
1. This week in the Lord's Service -1st - 8th June:
This morning - Sunday School.
Tuesday - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Wednesday - Study on 'A Hearing Heart' continues - 11.00 am at the church and 7.30 pm at the home of Phil and Dorothea Worpel, 235 Scenic Road, Highton
Saturday - 10.00 am - 11.00 am - 'Sing - along' time. 11.00 am to 12 noon - Choir practice.
Next Sunday - 9.30 am - Public Divine service - (With Holy- Communion).
2. 175th Anniversary of Lutheran
schooling - Celebration Dinner :
As indicated previously, Geelong Lutheran College and St John's Lutheran School are holding a dinner at 6.30 pm on Saturday June 21, 2014 at the
Hopetoun Room, The Pier, Geelong. Tickets will be $55 per head for a 2 course meal and complimentary drink. Any enquiries to Marian at G.L.C., phone
There will also be a Greater Geelong combined service at GLC, 2-38 Burvilles Road, Mt Duneed on Sunday 22nd June at 9.30am.
If anyone can provide, or are in need of transport, please contact Phil Ward on52 215466.
We meet at 'Our Redeemer' at 8.45 am. for car pooling. Some information slips are available from the front foyer to take home.
That morning, a worship service will also be held at 'Our Redeemer'.
Coming up for your diary:
Tuesday 10th June - 7.00 pm - Church Council.
Thursday 12th June - 10.30 am - Ladies F'ship.
Friday 13th June - 6.30 pm - YPQ&A.
Tuesday 17th June - 12.30 pm - Kaffeestunde.