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Earlier today I posted this reflection in preparation for Ascension day May 29th. As you know my focus was more on the new creation that Jesus ascension ushered into being than it was on the ascent of Christ to the right hand of God, partly because so much of the language of ascent seems to focus more on the triumphalism of a militaristic parade rather than the ascent of a servant king whose advocacy will restore and renew all things.
Having said that I do not want to deny the exultant triumph of our risen Lord and the freedom his ascent has brought us. For the disciples this must have been an amazing day. They knew Jesus was alive. They knew he was the Son of God and the Saviour of the world, the long-promised Messiah. They knew that they would see him again when he returned, as he had assured them that he would, at the end of time and the day of resurrection. They knew that he still loved them, simply because he appeared to them after he rose from the grave and, most importantly, he had entrusted his mission on earth to them. They had begun to comprehend the nature of God’s love and power; so should we.
So I wanted to share some of my favourite resources here to help us get ready for this day.
The United Methodist Church has some great resources. I love the exultant note of this prayer from Rev. Marilyn E. Thornton the Lead Editor for African American,
One: Let us gather as they gathered on the Mount of Olivet.
Let us remember the teachings of the law, psalms, and prophets.
Many: Ride on King Jesus, no one can hinder you!
Here is another from the reformed tradition With A Shout
And this by David Diephouse who teaches history at Calvin College
Our God goes up with shouts of joy!
Our Lord ascends to the sound of trumpets!
All: Sing praises to our God, sing praises!
Sing praises, sing praises to our King!
The Almighty rides in triumph.
The Almighty leads captivity captive.
Who shouts for joy? Who blows the trumpet?
The hosts of heaven sing the honor of his name;
they praise him with an endless alleluia.
And this prayer from the Catholic service for Ascension Day
God our Father,
make us joyful in the ascension of your Son Jesus Christ.
May we follow him into the new creation,
for his ascension is our glory and our hope.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Here is a good set of videos/loops from re:Worship
Obviously there are lots of other great resources out there too so if you have found something that is particularly helpful please leave a link in the comments below.