Archive for May 21st, 2020

The quote is from the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, Article VIII, The Person of Christ, para. 27-30, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Lutheran Church.

But now He does, since He has ascended, not merely as any other saint, to heaven, but, as the apostle testifies [ Eph. 4:10 ], above all heavens, and also truly fills all things, and being everywhere present, not only as God, but also as man [has dominion and] rules from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth; as the prophets predict, Ps. 8:1,693:1f ; Zech. 9:10, and the apostles testify, Mark 16:20, that He everywhere wrought with them and confirmed their word with signs following. 28]Yet this occurred not in an earthly way, but, as Dr. Luther explains, according to the manner of the right hand of God, which is no fixed place in heaven, as the Sacramentarians assert without any ground in the Holy Scriptures, but nothing else than the almighty power of God, which fills heaven and earth, in [possession of] which Christ is installed according to His humanity, realiter, that is, in deed and truth, sine confusione et exaequatione naturarum, that is, without confusion and equalizing of the two natures in their essence and essential properties; 29] by this communicated [divine] power, according to the words of His testament, He can be and truly is present with His body and blood in the Holy Supper, to which He has directed us by His Word; this is possible to no other man, because no man is in such a way united with the divine nature, and installed in such divine almighty majesty and power through and in the personal union of the two natures in Christ, as Jesus, the Son of Mary. 30] For in Him the divine and the human nature are personally united with one another, so that in Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Col. 2:9, and in this personal union have such a sublime, intimate, ineffable communion that even the angels are astonished at it, and, as St. Peter testifies, have their delight and joy in looking into it [ 1 Pet. 1:12 ]; all of which will shortly be explained in order and somewhat more fully.

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Acts 1: 1-11 Psalm 47 Ephesians 1: 15-23 St. Luke 24: 44-53

Almighty God, as Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into the heavens, so may we also ascend in heart and mind and continually dwell there with Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
    He was manifested in the flesh,
   vindicated by the Spirit,
       seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
    believed on in the world,
       taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3: 16

Ephesians 3:   14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

The Lord’s Church, His Body  of whom He is our head, is multi-dimensional: “…the breadth and length and height and depth”.  The Lord’s Ascension is the fulfillment of the Church in Him that is not merely 3 dimensional, but 4 dimensional, that is, in space and  time.  The Ascension of our Lord is about:

looking back

looking up

looking out

looking forward.

  •  Looking back to the entire record of the Bible and the Lords’ saving acts in Israel and now in Jesus Christ for Israel and the entire world, so we are strengthened in our souls through faith by His grace revealed in history.  The Bible is God’s own Word inspired by the Lord and  recorded by men that we may know the Way.
  •  Looking up in faith in prayer to the Lord as He ascended, so we may know where He is leading us.  The Church, and the world, does not live in the time after Christ,  but in the time under Christ. Christ Jesus is Prophet, Priest and King and from His three fold office we receive grace upon grace.  Prophet:  He preaches His Word to all creation.  Priest:  Our Great High Priest officiates at His Table His Body and Blood.  King:  He rules His Church and creation by His Word as we are waiting for the coming of the Kingdom in all its fullness. He calls Pastors and Preachers to bring His Word to your ears and hearts, and in the Sacraments to your body and soul.
  •  Looking out for each other is the service that fellow pilgrims and companions offer to one another.  “Watch out” is caution.  The Lord’s looks out for us in His Law, in which the Lord warns “Watch out” and as the crucified and ascended Lord watches over us ever promising: “I am with you always even to the end of the age” (St. Matthew 28). Looking out for one another is to encourage each other as we see the Day approaching.
  •  Looking forward for the Kingdom coming, begun in Jesus Christ is our God-given hope and faith. As it is written in 1 Corinthians 11, as oft as we eat of this Bread and drink of this Cup (Holy Communion) we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.  The vain world thinks this is it, that is, this world and this life as it thinks it has life in itself. It does not.  Christ is crucified, Christ is risen, Christ is ascended, Christ will come again. We look to the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 11) to the Day. 

“Sursum Corda”, literally, Hearts Lifted, as in Lift up your hearts, we lift them up to the Lord.  He has done the heavy lifting.  He intercedes for His Body on earth so our minds are set in hope on things above. His love is for us all in all space and time, in all dimensions.

On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build
By: Josua Wegelin

On Christ’s ascension I now build
The hope of my ascension;
This hope alone has always stilled
All doubt and apprehension;
For where the head is, there as well
I know his members are to dwell
When Christ will come and call them.

Since Christ returned to claim his throne,
Great gifts for me obtaining,
My heart will rest in him alone,
No other rest remaining;
For where my treasure went before,
There all my thoughts will ever soar
To still their deepest yearning.

Oh, grant, dear Lord, this grace to me,
Recalling your ascension,
That I may serve you faithfully,
Adorning your redemption;
And then, when all my days will cease,
Let me depart in joy and peace
In answer to my pleading.

Hymn # 150 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Etlich Christlich lider

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