From Left to Right – they got the memo about Memorial Day, Sunrise National Cemetery Fredericksburg, Sat. May 25, 2019, Helmut Linne von Berg delivers the Easter 6 sermon, Rogation Day asking for God’s continuing care of the environment and ours as well, Veterans on hand today
We used the prayer from BCP 893 for the veterans – “O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines.”
The Week Ahead…
May 29 – 10:00am-12pm – Ecumenical Bible Study
June 2 – 10am – Children’s Education Living the Good News
June 2- 10am – Creating a Scene in Corinthians
June 2 – 11:00am – Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Sunday, June 2, Easter 7 Readings and Servers
Thy Kingdom Come, May 30-June 9, Prayers from Ascension to Pentecost
Thy Kingdom Come began as an invitation from the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Church of England in 2016. It has since become global and ecumenical; last year, Christians from 65 denominations in 114 countries prayed together for the whole world to come to know Jesus Christ. This year it starts on May 30.
Host a prayer service at your house or the Parish House during the Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative beginning on Thursday May 30th. until Pentecost, June 9. Please let Catherine know of your plans.
Join Christians all over the world in prayer during these days. You can also host an hour of prayer and use the Parish House as the location. Sign up by contacting Catherine
Lectionary Easter 7, Year C, May 26
I.Theme – Forging the glorious unity of God’s people.
" Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janeiro" – Paul Landowski, 1931
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
We were in the middle between Ascension, last Thursday and Easter 7 which looks a week ahead to Pentecost. Easter 7 is a Sunday of Christian unity in the face of the disciples in their uncertainty. This is a result of the events of the recent past, the Resurrection and Ascension.
After his resurrection 40+ days ago, Jesus has appeared to three followers on the road to Emmaus, to Peter, and to those gathered in Jerusalem. When they have thought that they were seeing a ghost, he has invited them to touch his wounds and eats in their presence. The community is not sure of the outcome of all this. Will he stay ? They feel terrified both as to their own safety.
Today’s readings give us a sense of comfort. In today’s readings, we catch a glimpse of the glorious unity of God’s people. Paul and Silas show their concern even for their Gentile jailer, who becomes a believer through their example. John, in his Revelation, describes the believers’ urgent longing for final union with Jesus. In the gospel, Jesus prays for us, who have come to faith and unity in him through the testimony of the disciples
On the night when He was betrayed, Jesus interceded for His Church — for His apostles and all who believe in Him through their word — that all of His disciples “may become perfectly one” in the Father and the Son (John 17:21–23). For Jesus became flesh and dwells among us in order to reveal the Father and His name, to share with us the glory of His righteousness, and to bring us to the Father in Himself. As the Father loved the Son from “before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24), so He loves the whole world (John 17:23, 26). Through the apostolic witness to the baptism, cross and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:21–22), the Lord gathers His disciples throughout the world “with one accord,” as one body in Christ (Acts 1:14). And so with one voice and by one Spirit, His Bride prays, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17). And He comes to us. He gives us“the water of life without price” to wash our robes and quench our thirst (Rev. 22:17); and He feeds us from “the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit” (Rev. 22:2).
This Sunday, we are reminded that the world-view we hold now is not the same as the ancient Israelites, nor is it the same as the people of Jesus’ day and of the first century, nor will it be the same in the future. We must be prepared for new understandings and insights, new ways of thinking about and understanding God and God’s works in the world
Ascension, May 30, 2019
Biblical scholar Ronald Coleman wanted to be clear on Ascension -"We do not, as a matter of fact, believe that Jesus ended his earthly ministry with the equivalent of a rocket launch, rising a few hundred miles above the earth. Nor do we think Jesus was the first to be “beamed up,” to use the term made so familiar by the television series Star Trek."
The New Testament treats the Ascension as an integral part of the Easter event.
It is the final appearance Jesus’ physical and resurrected presence on earth. It is the final component of the paschal mystery, which consists also of Jesus’ Passion, Crucifixion, Death, Burial, Descent Among the Dead, and Resurrection.
Along with the resurrection, the ascension functioned as a proof of Jesus’ claim that he was the Messiah. The Ascension is also the event whereby humanity was taken into heaven. There is a promise he will come again.
So when is it ? The Ascension in Luke 24 is on Easter Sunday evening or, at the latest, the next day; in John 20, sometime between the appearance to Mary Magdalene (who is told not to touch the risen One because he has not yet ascended) and the appearance to Thomas (who is invited to touch him); in Acts 1, after the forty days (which, however, are symbolic of the time of revelation; there may be no intention to suggest that the ascension actually “occurred” on the fortieth day). We celebrate Ascension on the 40th day, this year Thursday May 25 or the closest Sunday, May 28.
The main scriptural references to the Ascension are Mark:16:19, Luke:24:51, and Acts:1:2 and vvs. 8-10. Luke 24 says "While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven". In Acts " he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen." Jesus commissions his followers, rather than simply blessing them; and we have an appearance from two men in white robes.
Mount Olivet, near Bethany, is designated as the place where Christ left the earth. The feast falls on Thursday, May 25 and it is one of the most solemn in the calendar, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, Easter and Pentecost.
In disappearing from their view "He was raised up and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9), and entering into glory He dwells with the Father in the honur and power denoted by the scripture phrase."
In a way, Jesus’ abandonment of the disciples upon the Mount of Olives is more profound than their abandonment on Calvary. After all, the disciples themselves predicted he would die. But no one could have imagined the Resurrection and the extraordinary forty days during which Jesus dwelled again with his friends. Forty days with the resurrected Jesus – appearing in the upper room, along the way to Emmaus, upon the beach at Galilee! Imagine their despair when this, the Jesus present to them in such an astonishing way, enters the Cloud on the Mount of Olives.
Ascension as the beginning of the Church’s mission
The Ascension is the beginning of the church’s mission.
1. It is powered by the Spirit
2. It is a call to be witnesses
3. It is worldwide is scope
The Ascension holds the promise of Christ’s return.
The Purpose of the Ascension:
A. For Man’s Redemption
B. For Jesus to be our Advocate
C. So The Spirit Could Come
D. To Prepare a place for Us
The Ascension is about direction
1. Looking upwards
Where is heaven ? When the early church confessed that Jesus had ascended into heaven, the emphasis was not so much on a place – the emphasis was on God’s immediate presence. The church was confessing that Jesus had entered into the divine glory – that the risen Jesus now dwelt in the immediate presence of God. This may explain the meaning of the phrase, "a cloud took him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9). Oftentimes in scripture, a cloud represents the shekinah glory of God, the sign of God’s presence (cf. Exo. 33:7-11; Mark 9:7).
This day reminds us that Jesus, our Risen Lord and Savior, is “beyond the bounds of time and space and free of their confinement, so he is able to be present everywhere at once.”
2. Heading downwards
Apostles are grouped together in Jerusalem awaiting their next step. "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying…these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer
3. Setting outwards.
This is an opportunity to reflect on the mission imperative of the church, the dangers of the church looking inward and the strength we gain from a Jesus now in the heavens who equips us for service
The Ascension marks the exact moment when Jesus, Son of God, commissioned his disciples to begin the gigantic task of converting the whole world. As recorded in St Mark’s Gospel, Jesus said: "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned." This day reminds us that Jesus, our Risen Lord and Savior, is “beyond the bounds of time and space and free of their confinement, so he is able to be present everywhere at once.”
Prayers from Ascension to Pentecost
Here is a link to enrich your spiritual life from Ascension to Pentecost – 10 days. The nine days from Ascension Day to the Eve of Pentecost are the original novena–nine days of prayer.
Before he ascended, Jesus ordered the disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. After his Ascension, they returned to the upper room in Jerusalem where they devoted themselves to prayer. These last days of the Great Fifty Days of Easter can be a time for us to prepare for the celebration of Pentecost.
Ascension Art: trying to make it visual.."
The Ascension has always been a challenge to understand through the scriptures. Artists have played a role in giving us a visual depiction of the event. They have been doing this for over a 1000 years.
Our own Ascension art – St. George’s Ascension window
These are earliest windows produced for the church in 1885 and dedicated to Rev. Edward McGuire who served as rector her for 45 years from 1813-1858 and was the rector when the current Church was built in 1849. It was produced in Germany but we do not know the maker. There are three panels increasing the drama and focus. The window is the front of the church directly in front of parishioners.
The Ascension took place 40 days after the Resurrection when Jesus led the disciples to the Mount of Olives. He raised his hands, blessed them and then was lifted up until a cloud took him out of their sight. This is shown in the middle window. He is shown, arms raised, disappearing into a cloud with his feet and the hem of his clothes visible. His feet still show scars of the crucifixion.
An Alternate Take – "The Ascension Never Actually Happened – Ascension is Always Happening"
From a sermon from Pastor Dawn Hutchings. Full sermon
Dawn cites the story of Larry Walters who in 1982 ascended to a height of 16,000 in a lawn chair lifted by over 40 helium balloons. He intended to come down by shooting out the balloons with a bb gun. However, he dropped the gun. By luck, he shot out enough balloons to get him down though he wandered into a commercial airline path and almost ran into some power lines. That’s a true story but she cited a movie in Australia base on Larry’s story – Danny Deckchair which is not true.
"The movie’s hero, Danny, is a bored labourer who drives a cement mixer. Danny is an unlikely Christ figure whose story is similar to Larry’s. Danny ascends from his backyard in Sydney during a barbecue and lands less than gracefully in a small town in the Australian outback. By this act of departure and arrival everything changes not only for Danny, but also for those he left behind and those he meets in the outback. Danny’s unique departure inspires those at home to take risks of their own: to live life more boldly, to act on their dreams, to become all they can be.
"In acting out his dream, Danny finds new confidence and becomes the source of inspiration and affirmation for the townsfolk in the outback who used to see themselves as backwater hicks, but now see the importance of their actions in the life of their town. Everyone is transformed by Danny’s ascension. New Life and love accompany his resurrection.
"With that said, let me just say, that the Ascension never actually happened. It is not an historical event. If a tourist with a video camera had been there in Bethany they would have recorded absolutely nothing – but it’s always happening.
"The Ascension story is about the joy the disciples felt about the ongoing ever so real presence of Jesus after his death. The God they saw in Jesus they found in themselves. In Jesus’ departure they discovered that they could love as wastefully as he did. They could live abundantly as Jesus did. They could heal and reconcile just as Jesus did. With Jesus pointing the way they had found God and while Jesus was gone, the God that Jesus pointed to was everywhere, even in them.
"May these realizations live and breath and have their being in you. May you know the joy of seeing Jesus point the way, the joy of finding God, may you know the God Christ points to who is everywhere, even in you. May you love as extravagantly as Jesus loved. May you live as abundantly as Jesus lived. May you be Christ’s Body here and now, in this place in this time!
10. Recent Services:
Easter 3, May 5 Photos from May 5
Easter 4, May 12 Photos from May 12
Easter 5, May 19 Photos from May 19
Block Print by Mike Newman
|White||Gold||Christmas||Dec 25-Jan 5|
|Green||After Epiphany||Jan 7-March 2|
|Purple||Ash Wednesday||Mar 6-9|
|Purple||Lent||Mar 6-Apr 20|
|Rose*|| [Laetere Sunday]
|Purple||Palm Sunday||Apr 14-17|
|Purple||Maundy Thursday||Apr 18|
|Purple||Black||Good Friday||Apr 19|
|Black||Holy Saturday||Apr 20|
|White||Gold||Eastertide||Apr 27-June 8|
3-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right at your computer. Spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage.
Knowing that not everyone prays at the same pace, you have control over the pace of the retreat. After each screen, a Continue button will appear. Click it when you are ready to move on. If you are new to online prayer, the basic timing of the screens will guide you through the experience.
Daily meditations in words and music.
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“We invite you to make a ‘Sacred Space’ in your day, praying here and now, as you visit our website, with the help of scripture chosen every day and on-screen guidance.”
Saints of the Week, – May 26 – June 2
|Augustine, First Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
Mariana de JesÃºs de Peredes, Hermit & Mystic, 1645
|Bertha and Ethelbert, Queen and King of Kent, 616|
|Mechtild of Magdeburg, Mystic, c.1282[
John Calvin, Theologian, 1564
|Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc), Mystic and Soldier, 1431
Basil the Elder & Emilia of Cappadocia, Parents of Macrina, Basil the Great & Gregory of Nyssa, c.375
|The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
|Justin, Martyr at Rome, c. 167|
|Martyrs of Lyon, 177|