Category Archives: Ascension Sunday

Being Squirrely

IMG_4202for Sunday, June 1, 2014
7th Sunday of Easter
or Ascension of the Lord Sunday
Year A
lectionary focus: Acts 1:1-14

Welcome!

Do you know about squirrels? They are cute little animals. Can you make a squirrel face? (Make a squirrel face and hold your hands up in front of your heart.) The thing about squirrels though is that some of them are not very smart. Have you ever seen one crossing the street? In front of a car? Now some squirrels will hurry on across and get out of the way. But some squirrels will stop and stand up and just watch the car coming. And when they finally do something, well, it is too late. In my family, we say that when a squirrel is standing in this dangerous situation that he is holding his hands in front of his heart to see if his heart is still beating, to see if he is still alive; and since he is just standing there in front of the oncoming car…well…then…he is usually no longer alive. Those squirrels just stand there watching, doing nothing.

In our Bible story today from the Book of Acts, some of Jesus’s friends get caught just ‘standing there.’ They have been in a situation where they are confused and so they just stand there, like statues, like squirrels in the road. Then two angels come to them and basically say, “Don’t just stand there; do something!” Now I don’t think the disciples were checking to see if their hearts were still beating, but this is what I learn from this story: sometimes even the best of us can get stuck, can get frozen, can just stand there watching. But God calls us to be people of action, to be people who do. Don’t just stand there watching, set forward and help someone. Don’t just stand there watching, step forward and smile at someone. Don’t just stand there watching, step forward and learn from someone. Don’t be a squirrel checking for your heartbeat. God calls us to do His work, to share His love. We are not here just to watch; we are here to do.

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

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for squirrels.
Thank You
for watching over us.
Help me
to do Your work,
to share Your love.
Amen

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

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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.