He Is With Us Always

for Sunday, May 20, 2012
7th Sunday of Easter
Ascension Sunday
lectionary focus: John 17:6-19 and Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:1-11
note: The lectionary for the Ascension falls on Thursday, but many churches will choose to focus on the Ascension during the Sunday service. Following that approach, I have crafted this sermon to lead into next week’s celebration of Pentecost. As I noted earlier, this week’s sermon can also be used to celebrate graduates in your congregation. Adapt this sermon for graduates (their turn certainly is now) or meld this sermon’s lectionary with And Come Back.

Good Morning! Alleluia!

I have an older sister. When I was your age, my sister, being older, always got to go off and do things, and I, being younger, was left behind because I was too young. I can’t tell you how many times I sat on the steps at my house watching my sister go to this party or that movie or whatever. My mom would sit beside me and tell me that it is always hardest to be left behind and that my turn would come.

In our Bible story today, we start the transition from Easter to Pentecost. On the glorious day of Ascension, Jesus who has risen from the dead now goes to Heaven to reign in God’s Kingdom. And again, the disciples are confused: What? First, they thought they had lost their friend Jesus when He died on the cross. Then He came back. Now He is leaving them again?

No. This is the indescribable joy–Jesus is in Heaven, but Jesus has not left us behind. Jesus is with us always.

Before going to Heaven, Jesus called each of His disciples to go forth and share God’s love. They were not left behind–they were sent out. And so it is with us. Jesus calls each and all of us to go forth and share God’s love. You are not too young; you have not been left behind; your turn is now.

Today is called Ascension Sunday because we celebrate Jesus rising into Heaven. Therefore let us also rise to Christ’s call and go share God’s love.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for calling me
even though I am young.
Thank You
for being with me
even though I am young.
Help me
to share Your love
with all those around me
even the young,
even the old.
Amen

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

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4 responses to “He Is With Us Always

  1. Ascension is often hard for me to do with the kids. I very much like your “take” on it!

    • I am with you Sue Ellen! But I also find Easter/Ascension/Pentecost/Trinity…hard to discuss with adults. Children seem much more open to believing in the Glorious Mystery. I love to learn from a child’s faith: “Yes, it is a miracle, now let’s go eat some ice cream.” Thanks for sharing. :-)

  2. Good job. I can’t tell you how many times I was told (youngest of 4) ” Your day is coming…” !!! A good children’s sermon ought not speak over their heads -and when done well, as is yours, can actually speak to both child and adult. Sometimes it is better than the adult sermon!

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