Posts tagged “Ascension

Sermo Dei: Ascension 2017

Posted on May 26th, 2017

The Ascension is like staring at the sun. The more you look, the less you see. It’s a mystery. It doesn’t make any sense, but then neither does Jesus walking upon the waters, or passing through closed doors, or being born of a virgin. The creation of the world, or the raising of the dead– it’s all incomprehensible to us. The Lord’s Ascension instead comforts the simple believer that Jesus is with the Father, and yet keeps on caring for us. Part of His care is calling us to repentance. “To repent means nothing other than to truly acknowledge sins, to be heartily sorry for them, and to stop doing them” (FC SD V). To this then is added remission of sins. This means…

Sermo Dei: Ascension 2016

Posted on May 5th, 2016

The purpose of the world was for man to receive the love of the Father through His gifts to man and His presence with man.   He gave His gifts to us in creation, and in our senses that delight in creation – the joy that comes from walking, swimming, running, feeling the cool breeze, laughing, tasting watermelon, making music, playing catch. As Adam the first-formed matured, along with his wife, eventually God would join them, entering fully into His creation; for man who was made in God’s image was made to be in communion with Christ who is the image of the invisible God.   Immanuel, “God with us” was always the larger plan and story God had in mind for us.   The…

Sermo Dei: The Ascension of Our Lord

Posted on May 11th, 2013

Many ages ago, five kings joined forces together: the kings of Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboiim, and Bela; they rode out to the Valley of Siddim and clashed with the armies of four kings: the kings of Elam, and Goiim, and Shinar, and Ellasar. The armies of the five kings were routed; some fell into pits of tar, and others fled to the hills. And the four kings took captives – including Lot, the nephew of Abraham. Abraham, who himself was a man of great power, heard the news; and when he learned of Lot’s capture, Abraham went forth with 318 of his household warriors. They rode hard all day, and when night fell, near Damascus, they crept upon the conquering army…

Sermo Dei: Ascension 2012

Posted on June 4th, 2012

Before I really understood the Gospel, I set out to become a perfect Christian. I began to keep a journal for this endeavor, and I wrote on the opening page, “Steps to Complete Sanctification.” I then began to outline all of the things I would need to do. On my list were things like pray so many times per day, memorize Scripture, and overcome certain sins. The problem was that the harder I tried, the worse it got. I was following the way of the Law – and that way leads to death, for Lex semper accusat. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was doing was a crude and immature form of Methodism, which in Eastern Orthodoxy is known as the…

The Decline of Ascension

Posted on June 6th, 2011

Pr. Weedon noted that his parish has seen a steady decline in the number of people coming to Ascension service. I’ve seen the same at Immanuel. We had a mere 27 last Thursday, down from 40 the previous year. I haven’t gone back through my records, but I’m quite certain that five years ago we were getting more than 50. We’ll always have an Ascension mass on the actual day—I can’t fathom what drives pastors to move it—even if it dwindles to two or three people, but there definitely is a decline in the observance of sacred time. Good words from Pr. Weedon: Is it really unthinkable that Christ’s people gather on a Thursday once a year?  I often think, though, what a blessing…

The Ascension of Our Lord

Posted on May 14th, 2010

I’ve enjoyed my time away from posting. I can’t say when or if I’ll start in earnest again, but I am going to resume posting the occasional sermon here. Dearly beloved, assembled here for this great feast of Christ’s Ascension, remember all that we have celebrated this year. At Holy Christmas, we saw how the Word became flesh, taking on our flesh, our human nature. The Son of God, true God from all eternity, assumed our human nature into His Person, so that He, true God, could also become true man. But why? Because God’s good creation was ruined, marred, in turmoil. Choked with the dust of a billion bones dry and decaying, the whole human race was in shipwreck. Long ago, a being created…


Posted on May 21st, 2009

  We are always making plans for the future. Plans for school. Plans for trips. Plans for our family. Plans for purchasing things. Plans for what we will eat, what we will drink, what we will wear. These plans are not wrong in and of themselves. But they give us an orientation, a fixation on the things of this world. And this fixation leads us to worry. We have anxiety about the future, and regrets about the past. We fear shapeless things. We love worthless things. We hate others, hold grudges, resent what others have, look longingly, lustfully, rapaciously at what God has not given to us. And so we pray half-heartedly; we spend more energy on budgets and meetings than confession and absolution;…

The Ascension of Our Lord: Mark 16.14-20

Posted on May 2nd, 2008

For forty days, the sign out front has read, “Christ is risen. Alleluia!” Now it’s time to change it, and the other day I was wondering if there was something “Ascensiony” to put there. My first fleeting thought turned out to be inappropriate: “Christ is gone. Alleluia!” Yet isn’t that the way we treat the Ascension? Christ is gone, so we can live as we please. Christ is gone, and so His Word can be ignored. Christ is gone, and we must make our own way. Christ is gone, but He has left us rules. -OR- Christ is gone, but He taught us to throw away all rules. But then also, Christ is gone, and so we have no comfort. Christ is gone, and…

Prayer on the Festival of the Ascension of Our Lord

Posted on May 1st, 2008

O King of Glory, Lord of hosts, who didst this day ascend in triumph far above all heavens, we beseech Thee, leave us not comfortless, but send to us the Spirit of Truth, promised of the Father; O Thou who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, one God, world without end. From The Lutheran Hymnal