Sunday Sermons

Ascension 2022

Today we celebrate the ‘disappearance of Jesus’. Which is a strange thing to celebrate in a way isn’t it. Remembering and celebrating as part of our faith the departure of Jesus from our world. His leaving us! But we should begin our reflecion remembering God’s kingdom is an upside down kingdom in relation to this world .. so today we recall His absence but that also reminds us of His presence in a strange way. That is true of everyone who we have lost .. their absence somehow reminds us of their presence! So we must allow our minds and hearts to be turned upside down this morning.,

What is the ascension telling us about Jesus then? Importantly this account of Jesus leaving the earth is not so that we can think of Jesus as now being everywhere but rather that Jesus is somewhere!!

I think the theological message begins with us remembering Jesus was still a man in this account .. sometimes we forget about Jesus humanity after his death on the cross and we start to think of Jesus differently when we talk of resurrection and ascension don’t we? We think this part of his journey reflects his divinity, his being God, more than his being human. And this is where we must do all we can to dwell on and remember the glorious ascension of Jesus .. as a human. As a man from Nazareth. Because if we forget Jesus humanity here we miss the point. The fact that Jesus is still alive in a very real human sense as the first fruit among the dead is at the heart of our faith. The first of all humans to be brought back to life … and then as we remember today the first to go to another place .. a better place .. as a human. To prepare a place for the rest of us we are told!

So on Ascension Day we are asked to consider where Jesus the man of Nazareth has gone and what he is doing.

Well that somewhere is at the right hand of God interceding for us! We celebrate each week in our Eucharist , our Holy Communion, that Jesus was born, lived, died , rose again and is now ascended and seated at the right hand of the father where he lives to intercede for us.

So that tells where He is and what he is doing. He is in heaven praying for us and caring for us. And he will do this until the time when he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and then his new kingdom will have no end!

So the ascension reminds us that Jesus is not everywhere .. that is perhaps the job of the Holy Spirit but that is a Pentecost sermon .. Jesus though is not everywhere now .. he is in heaven praying for us in this age!

The ascension reminds us we have been left behind but not abandoned we could say. The risen Jesus is still active working for us and for our world through intercessions and preparation for a better future. What a wonderful message of hope and love.

Jesus was a man when He ascended. This is important because it reveals that we too will experience this journey at some point. A physical body becoming a part of another realm. Humanity living with God. If we don’t dwell on the ascension of Jesus as a man we undermine all that He taught us about the hope for humankind.

Thank God we have an ascension account because it is an event which tells us each one of us with all our experiences, our memories, our wounds and our humanity will one day go to be with God. That this is part of what it is to be human. This is part of the message of incarnation .. Jesus experienced our death and we will experience his resurrection and his welcome to heaven.


Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you have exalted your Son Christ Jesus to your right hand, and made him the head over all things for his body the Church: hear us as we pray for the Church throughout the world. Make us and all your people receptive to the gifts he pours upon us, that we may use them to your glory, and the building up of the body of Christ.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Lord God Almighty, the Ancient of Days, you have given your Son all authority in heaven and on earth: hear us as we pray for the world he came to redeem. Grant that we may know even in this time the things that make for peace, and may strive for the reconciliation of all people in his kingdom of justice and love.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Father of all, whose Son has promised to be with us always, to the end of the age: hear us as we pray for those among whom we live and work. Grant that we may be so aware of his presence with us, that people may take note of us, that we have been with Jesus.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

O God our Redeemer, whose Son ever lives to make intercession for us: hear us as we pray for those in any kind of need. May he who has borne our infirmities strengthen and heal them, that they may find grace to help in time of need, and rejoice in his salvation.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, whose Son has borne our humanity into the heavenly realms, and gone before us to prepare a place for us: hear us as we remember before you those whose earthly sojourn is over, and whose life is now hidden in him with you. Make us joyful and expectant, that at his coming with all his own we too may go forth to meet him, and share in his eternal joy.