Sunday – The Ascension of the Lord
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God of majesty, you led the Messiah through suffering into risen life and took him up to the glory of heaven. Clothe us with the power promised from on high, and send us forth to the ends of the earth as heralds of repentance and witnesses of Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead, who lives and reigns with you now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
“Holy Are You Lord” – Terry Macalmon
A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles: Acts 1:1-11 (NLT)
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
Acts 1 In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
The Ascension of Jesus
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9 (NLT)
For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth. He subdues the nations before us, putting our enemies beneath our feet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm.
God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. The rulers of the world have gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For all the kings of the earth belong to God. He is highly honored everywhere.
Most High (Psalm 47) – James Block
A Reading from the Letters: Ephesians 1:17-23 (NLT)
I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 24:46-53 (NLT)
And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things.
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.
Hymn: “Before The Throne Of God Above” – Selah
With confidence, we bring our petitions before God, the Most High.
+ That those baptised at Easter may always be strong in faith…. Lord, hear us.
+ That missionaries may be filled with Holy Spirit…. Lord, hear us.
+ That families and other groups may pray for peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ That God may look after our family and friends far away from home…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the Spirit may fill our hearts anew, as we prepare for Pentecost…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the Spirit may comfort the sick and dying…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all our loved ones who have died may follow where Christ the Saviour has gone…. Lord, hear us.
Lord Most High, great king over all the earth, you are ever ready to help your people in their distress; hear and grant our prayers, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn: “Every Promise” – Stuart Townend
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world. Alleluia, alleluia.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen