What does the Ascension--and by extension, the Resurrection--mean for us today? One thing it means is that the one who is to judge us is well known as a friend to sinners.
lease listen to the sermon rather than read it. The delivered sermon is often considerably different than the sermon notes which are included for convenience below.
Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley.
May 8, 2016 - Ascension Sunday
"Ascended friend". Text is from Luke 24:44-53
Good morning to you my sisters and brothers, saints and sinners, disciples of Christ and children of God.
We have spent the last few Sundays preparing ourselves for the departure of Jesus from among his disciples. Indeed, since he returned from the dead, he's made quite a number of his appearances, and we've gone back to the farewell discourse so we could remind ourselves about what Jesus told his faithful apostles what the departure means to them. We've felt their anxieties, held their hands with their questions to Jesus, been with them to understand what was this mystery, that Jesus meant, that he would not be among us any more, that he would physically be taken up into the midst of God, while leaving his Holy Spirit among us to keep us company.
And now that time is here. We see that Jesus is to arise into his glory, with his final words on earth shared among the fortunate few that were witness to his time on earth. We remember what he's told them, and through them, us: "Stick together. Love one another as I have loved you. I have to go to the Father. If you loved me, you would be happy for me that I go to the Father." And while we want to be happy for him, to us there is a certain feeling of loss, the same kind of feeling when a good friend or loved sibling decides to find better opportunities in another city. It pulls at our hearts.