Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It should be a celebration. The house is full of kids – school friends, neighborhood friends. You are the guest of honor, and you have five candles on your birthday cake to blow out. So what could be wrong? Maybe a brother or sister is messing with one of your gifts. Maybe Trevor swiped a finger across the frosting of your cake before you blow out the candles. Whatever it is, it is all coming apart in tears. The bigger picture – a bright picture of fun and games and friends and presents and cake – has been lost.
Because Jesus ascended into heaven, He is now exalted over all things. He rules all things on behalf of His Church. This should bring us great hope and joy. Yet what happens to us? We become discouraged by our worldly cares. We become disgruntled like the birthday child. Our sin clouds our eyes to see what God has done and is doing through our risen and ascended Lord. We see with just our physical eyes and because of this we focus on the discouragements of the world. In our church we may fret about troubles members are having or the number of members who are inactive. We become discouraged as we fail to accomplish those things that we want to get done. We find ourselves in a state of despair as we see our own shortcomings or the shortcomings in others. We then wallow in our self-pity. But our Lord has ascended on high and rules over all things on our behalf. He has ascended to fill and be filled by His Church. Let’s not lose sight of this wonderful truth and all that means for us.
Ascension Day is still important for us as Christians. Historically, the Ascension has been a big day in the life of the Church. Many Lutheran churches have Ascension as part of their name. I wonder how many still have worship on that day? We still do here at Good Shepherd. This year it will be Thursday, May 5th at 7:00 p.m.. Christ is in control. He has been given all rule, authority, power, and dominion. That is why He ascended on high. He has prepared a place for us and is waiting. To God on High Be Glory!