Tim Parker

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ascension Day (17th May)

Ascension Day is when the church especially remembers our Lord being taken up into heaven at the end of his earthy ministry. Luke gives this account of the event:

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (Luke 24:50-53)

As Luke’s gospel draws to a close, we are given this wonderful picture of our risen Lord and savior stretching his hands out in blessing on his people. The esponse of his people is one of joyful praise and worship of their ascended King. Charles Wesley combines these joyful themes in his hymn ‘Hail the day’:

Hail the day that sees Him rise, Alleluia!
To His throne above the skies, Alleluia!
Christ, the lamb for sinners given, Alleluia!
Enters now the highest heaven, Alleluia!

There the glorious triumph waits, Alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates, Alleluia!
Christ hath conquered death and sin, Alleluia!
Take the King of glory in, Alleluia!

See! He lifts His hands above, Alleluia!
See! He shows the prints of love, Alleluia!
Hark! His gracious lips bestow, Alleluia!
Blessings on His church below, Alleluia!

Still for us He intercedes, Alleluia!
His prevailing death He pleads, Alleluia!
Near Himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
He the first fruits of out race, Alleluia!

Grant, though parted from our sight, Alleluia!
Far above yon azure height, Alleluia!
Grant our hearts may thither rise, Alleluia!
Seeking Thee beyond the skies, Alleluia!


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