Luke’s sequel to his Gospel – the Acts of the Apostles – begins with the final act of Jesus’s earthly ministry. The Risen Lord gives instruction and words of commission, and then ascends into heaven. Though Jesus goes “up”, he does not go away. He ascends but is not absent. Instead he is powerfully present in a new transcendent way – a way that empowers his “body” (the church) to carry on his earthly ministry. Thus, the angels in our story rebuke the disciples and tell them to stop gazing into the sky, and instead, look forward with the promise of Christ’s exalted presence accompanying their every step.
Opening Hymn: Crown Him with Many Crowns
Closing Doxology: Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow