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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sermon 05172012 Ascension Day

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray, Jesus Christ forty days ago You rose from the dead triumphant over sin, death, the devil, hell and damnation.  Today we remember Your ascension into heaven.  This was another of the milestones of the plan of salvation that began in the Garden of Eden, neared completion with Your birth in the manger and was fulfilled with Your life, death and resurrection.  May we be empowered to embrace the gift of salvation You have brought to us and fully understand that all things must be fulfilled by You for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.
Jesus Christ fulfilled all things!  He is risen indeed Alleluia!
Recently, Michele and I were doing some cleaning and we made Sarah very happy.  We didn’t give her a tub of candy or a bowl of ice cream; we did something a lot simpler and a lot easier.  We found three pieces from her very first puzzle.  You see, Sarah loves puzzles.  She will spend countless hours putting together puzzles and take them right apart to reassemble them.  Well this one puzzle had three pieces missing that Michele and I had no idea where they had disappeared to.  So every time she would play with her tub of puzzles, she would without fail put the entire puzzle together except for the final three pieces.  When these three pieces had been found it was as if her life had been fulfilled.
Tonight we celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ.  Just as Sarah with the three pieces felt and could see the puzzle was complete, Jesus Christ ascension was the final bookend in the saga of Jesus life here on earth.  Having been born in a lowly manger among the animals in very humble surroundings, smuggled in the middle of the night by His Father and Mother out of Israel to Egypt in fear of the tyrant Herod who was seeking His life, protected until returning to a city named Nazareth and then appearing at a wedding in Cana and performing His first miracle of changing water into wine, Jesus Christ life was now complete.  Jesus Christ having walked the streets of Jerusalem, sailed and walked upon the water of the Sea of Galilee, brought Lazarus back to life and healed the blind, the lame and the lepers and cast out the demons fulfilled all righteousness with His life, death, resurrection and now His ascension.  Jesus Christ completed and fulfilled every test, task and trouble that Satan could muster, not only because He was the Son of God, but especially because His mission was the salvation of mankind.
With Jesus Christ ascension into Heaven, He was returning to His Father having completed the mission of salvation in order that we His followers could spread the message of salvation.  The message that we proclaim clearly in the Creeds that Jesus Christ came down from heaven and took on our humanity in order to save us from our sins.  For it was not just the simple act of becoming human, but in taking on humanity, He, Jesus Christ overcame our weakness for us and became sin for us and suffered for us so we would not have to.  Jesus Christ chose His life and all that it entailed because of His great love for each and every one of us.  Jesus Christ gave His life to set us free and give us the greatest gift, the gift of eternal life.  For this fulfilled the plan of salvation begun in the Garden of Eden and brings full circle God’s divine plan that His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ would die for all of mankind.  And then 40 days after His resurrection from the dead would ascend into heaven to return to the Father.
For in Jesus Christ ascension His mission was fulfilled.  The picture, plan and power of the plan of salvation has been revealed to and for us with Jesus return to the Father.  Jesus Christ earthly mission of the salvation of all of mankind is fulfilled with His ascension into heaven.  Especially for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this evening.  AMEN.
//trial script