Between Thursday, May 5 and Sunday, May 8, we join Christians worldwide in marking the occasion on which the risen Christ is taken into heaven after appearing to his followers for forty days (Acts 1:1-11, Luke 24:44-53). The Ascension marks the conclusion of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances. It is the final elevation of his human nature to divine glory and the near presence of God, affirmed by the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds, celebrated on the Thursday that is the fortieth day of the Easter season, and a principal feast of the church year in the Episcopal Church.
Wherever you are on Thursday, add your voice and journey to the Collect (prayer) for the Day. “Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.” On Sunday, if you are able, make your way to St. Peter’s Church at 8:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., or 5:00 p.m., and add your voice to hymns, such as “Hail the day that sees him rise” and “Sing praise to God who reigns above.”
More than ever, may the work of the Church, the body of Christ, be that which we do faithfully to become a crowd that effects good change for the world. The world needs us. We need the world. We definitely need Jesus for the journey.
In celebration of the Ascension of our Lord,
– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector