Dear Christ Church,
Ascension Day, which is this coming Thursday, May 10th, is the point in the church calendar when we remember the forty days after the resurrection when Christ left earth and ascended to the Father. In Bobby Gross’ book, Living the Christian Year, he writes that there are three themes at work: “the return of Jesus to the Father and to sovereign glory, the impending arrival of the promised Holy Spirit, and the commissioning of Jesus’ followers to proclaim the gospel throughout the world.”
Jesus did not simply disappear, but ascended in bodily form, to reign over his church and world. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father as our Great High Priest who intercedes on our behalf, reigning in sovereign glory. The ascension also marks the age of the Spirit, in which Jesus said he would not leave his people but send His Spirit as his very presence and power. And we have a place in the story, too. Ascension Day serves to commission his people, his “body”, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. In a world that has strayed from God’s redemptive purposes, this is our call: to bear fearless witness to the truth and justice of God in Christ, by the power of the Spirit.
Speaking of bearing witness to others, and in this case to our own children, we want to thank Heather Summers for the outpouring of her love and excellent service as our Director of Children’s Ministry. After much prayer and discernment, she and her husband, Michael, are trusting the Lord’s guidance and peace in deciding to move to California this June for Michael to begin a new position at United States Cancer Management Corporation. Michael and Heather have devoted themselves to our community serving as Small Group Leaders, Heather as our Director of Children’s Ministry, and wholeheartedly engaging in relationships across generations. Thank you, Heather, for being hands and feet of Jesus to our children!
Lord God, by your immeasurably great power, you raised Christ Jesus from the dead and seated him at your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, with a name greater than any other name, not only in this age but also in the age to come; glory and honor to you, risen and ascended King! Amen.
Under His Mercy,
The Christ Church Staff & Vestry
P.S. For more on Ascension Day and the sovereign reign of Christ, we recommend listening to Cliff’s sermon from May 2016.