Thursday, May 29, 2014
Ascension Thursday -- will you be in Church today?
I find it sad and sinful that some Lutherans have given up on Ascension Day, relegated the day to a joint service among several parishes, or transferred the day to the Sunday following and thereby erased our connection with the liturgical tradition of no less than 1,600 + years.
Equally sad is that this has turned into a farewell party in which the Church acknowledges the absence of our Lord (in direct contrast to His promise and to the meaning of His ascension to the right hand of the Father). It is as if we have not only given up the day but also the very presence of Jesus among us. The sacraments have been left as signs incapable of delivering what they promise and Jesus is hidden away except when bidden in prayer or by solemn invocation.
No, Lutherans must insist upon the Ascension. I am doing my small part to rectifying the problem of those who have overlooked or abandoned the day by having not one but two Ascension masses -- 11 am and 7 pm (the later complete with choir). It is my own feeble attempt to make sure that Christ is not forgotten on this important day and that we remember to acknowledge that He has not left us orphans nor has He assigned us to the guardianship of another but remains among His people as He has promised, through the Word and Sacraments, delivering the promised Spirit to His people to kindle, rekindle, and renew our faith and life in His kingdom as the baptized who await His final coming, also a part of the Ascension promise.