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Ascension Day Feast Sermon & Worship Resources 2011

Ascension Day



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Texts & Discussion:

Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47 or Psalm 93
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53

  This Week's Themes:

Ascension of our Lord
Exaltation of Christ
Promise of the Spirit

 

  Introduction

The Ascension of Jesus took place in the presence of His disciples 40 days after the Resurrection. It is traditionally thought to have occurred on Mount Olivet in Bethany. According to the gospel writers Jesus was lifted up disappearing into the sky before their eyes. Ascension, according to the biblical witness, does not only refer to the literal "being lifted upwards" but also to a theological reality of Christ's new status of exaltation.  Exaltation describes Christ's return to the throne of God - thus constituting a spiritual exaltation. Paul in Eph. 1:20-21 points out that following the resurrection our Lord was elevated above all possible rivals: "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."

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 47)

L: Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy.
P: For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.
L: God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
P: Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
L: For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.
P: God is king over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

Closing Prayer for Ascension Sunday

O God, the King of glory,
you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ
with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven.
Do not leave us comfortless,
but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us,
and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

Children's Messages:

Sermons:


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A Rich Inheritance
Sermon based on Ephesians 1:15-23
by Rev. Randy Quinn

It probably comes as no surprise to you, but I donít speak Greek.  I donít read it, either.  Since the New Testament was written in Greek, most of us rely upon translators to tell us what Paul writes in his letter to the church in Ephesus.  Thatís part of why I like to use a variety of translations when Iím studying a text Ė and why I take the time to read what scholars have to say before writing a sermon.

One of the things I was surprised to learn in my studies this week was that our text today Ė the entire passage Ė is one long sentence in Greek. I tried reading it in a couple of different translations; and there was not one I found where I could read it aloud with only one breath.

I know some people who take multiple breaths in the same sentence because the sentence is so long; but generally itís because they are excited about something and donít know when to put an exclamation point on it and stop talking.

Paul was apparently so exuberant that he didnít know when to stop talking! 

He is excited about what God has done Ė and is doing Ė in Ephesus; and he is excited about what the church is doing in response.  That church has become for him an example of what he has been preaching throughout the Roman Empire Ė it serves as a model of the church as the Body of Christ, through which Jesus is seen at work.....

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Being There For Each Other
a kids talk for Ascension Day
by Rev. F. Schaefer

Greeting, my little friends. Today, I want to talk about being there for one another.  Because no matter what happens in life, we will always have friends, family, and the church, to be there for one another to help each other and encourage each other.

Today we celebrate Ascension Day--the day that the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven to be with God forever.  Can you imagine how sad the disciples must have been?

It can be really sad and hard when we lose someone we love--even when we know that they are going to be with God.  Does anyone here have a grandma or grandpa who went away to be with God?  Even though we know they are with God, it is still hard for us, isn't it?    We miss them.

And in times like this, we--the ones who are left behind--need to be there for each other. And a great way of showing that is by reaching out to someone and hug them.     Hugging is a great way of encouraging and caring for others when they are sad.   That's why you see a lot of people hugging at a funeral, or in the hospital, or in church.

Who of you is kind of sad this morning?  Who needs a hug?  (Give the child(ren) that raise(s) their hand a hug).  Now, how do you feel now?  A little better?

A hug says to a sad person: "I'm here for you."  And it also says:    "You're going to be alright."

And that's what Jesus said to the disciples too.  He said: "you're going to be fine, because I don't just leave you.  I will send you a helper, a comforter, someone who'll be there for you--the Holy Spirit." I am going to put the Holy Spirit in your hearts--into every believers heart. 

And if we stick together as Christians, we can help each other and encourage each other through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.  And a great way of being there for each other is by hugging each other.

Maybe we could all do that today; we could hug someone today and tell them that we are here for them, that we love them, can you do that for me and for Jesus?  O.K.

Prayer: "Dear God, we thank you that Jesus is with you and that so many of our loved ones are with you in heaven.  We also thank you that you have not left us by ourselves, but that you have given us your Spirit and each other.   Help us remember that we need to be there for one another.  Help us to show our love and support for each other. Amen."

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