This is Ascension Sunday. Throughout the world, on Thursday of this past week, followers of Jesus Christ recognized Ascension Day. Ascension Day, the fortieth day after Easter, marks the day on which Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with his disciples and ascended to heaven before their eyes (Acts 1:1-12). Ascecnsion Sunday is usually recognized on the Sunday after, or the Sunday closest to, Ascension Day.
Though often overlooked, the ascension of Christ is filled with theological significance. Christ’s ascension means that in heaven there is one who, knowing firsthand the experience of suffering and temptation, prays for us and perfects our prayers. The ascension is a witness and guarantee of our own bodily resurrection, as well as an invitation for us to set our hearts and minds “on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1-2) to rule over all things in heaven and throughout the universe (Eph. 1:10, 20-23). Finally, the ascension of Jesus serves as the prelude to Pentecost, when the power of the risen Christ came upon all believers through the Holy Spirit.
Though not overt, our service this week subtly reflects our recognition of Jesus’ ascension. You will find it reflected in the prayers, the confession, and elsewhere. Beyond that, however, the service follows the same pattern as most of our services have while we have been scattered.
As always, each person should have a copy of the .pdf worship outline to use during the time of worship. This outline has all the tools needed to participate. Videos for all songs, for the message, and for the Benediction have been embedded into the digital worship outline, for use when each family or group gets to that point in the service. Instructions can be found under each element of worship, offering guidance for exercising the particular element. As with previous weeks, it is best if participants look through the worship outline in advance, and designate who will lead each part. Different people can lead different parts of the service, or one person can be designated to take the lead, allowing all others to worship in response.
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