The Feast of the Ascension does not mark the absence of our Lord, but His presence for us in a new and different way: through His gifts of Word and Sacrament.
Ascension Day is an oft-forgotten feast. It occurs during the week rather than on Sunday, though some congregations transfer the feast to Sunday. As a result, many people miss this feast and the great importance it has for the life of the church.
The May issue of The Lutheran Witness fills the gaps in our understanding of our Lord’s ascension. The issue includes the history of the feast day, some suggestions for how to recover the feast in the congregation, a study of Ephesians 4 and a theological exposition of this feast day. In case you haven’t attended an Ascension Day service in a while, the issue also contains an Ascension Day sermon and a review of hymnody in Lutheran Service Book.
The restoration of this feast day in the life of the congregation will serve God’s people well, reminding them that He remains among them through His gifts. From the right hand of God, Jesus rules and directs all things for the good of His people. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, and He uses this for the good of the church. It was necessary for Him to ascend to the Father, that the Holy Spirit would be sent to deliver these gifts of Jesus to His church.
As God’s people struggle with the trials of this world, Ascension Day brings them comfort, reminding them that, despite trial and cross, Christ remains with them always.
Posted May 11, 2022