Did we forget? – May 20, 2022

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Luke 24:50,51


Military Devotion – May 20, 2022

Devotion based on Luke 24:50,51

See series: Military Devotions

We might wonder if angels wonder about us.

We eagerly and joyfully celebrate the entrance of Jesus of Nazareth into our world at Bethlehem. Special music sounds from our airwaves as early as November 1. Special trees are placed into homes. Special sales are advertised to shoppers hungry to buy. Special gifts are given. Special worship services are held.

The Christian world, and much of the secular, pause and hush to hear the music of “Silent Night” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.

And the victorious departure of Jesus of Nazareth to his heavenly home?

No Ascension Day sales, no decorating of houses, no special foods—should we say, no notice?

Surely, no song labeled “O Little Town of Bethany.”

We can understand the non-Christian world ignoring a holiday that does not offer special food or entertainment. It’s the expected response to the question, “What’s in it for me?”

But how do we explain the silence and inaction of those who claim this Jesus as their rescuer and ruler?

Surely the angels must wonder about this.

If we imagine that Christmas is celebrated with songs of joy by the heavenly host, if we expect that Easter rings with shouts of “Hallelujah!” by saints and angels, what do we envision the remembrance of the Ascension to be like?

Would heaven forget the day Jesus returned to his throne on high from his victorious mission to rescue mankind?

Hardly.

Through a prophetic vision, the psalmist declared, “God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets” (Psalm 47:5).

In the Bible, we hear, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor” (Hebrews 2:9).

In the Easter hymn, we sing, “He lives eternally to save. He lives all-glorious in the sky; He lives exalted there on high.” (CW 152:2)

The return of Jesus to his throne of glory in heaven is wonderful news. But it is also critical news.

We need him to claim his throne. We need him to rule over all things on heaven and earth for us.

He said he would return to heaven to his father when his mission was accomplished. He declared he was going to prepare a place for us in his father’s house.

He backed that up with a promise.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

His ascension to heaven is our blessed assurance that he will, indeed, enable us to ascend to heaven as well.

How could we forget Ascension Day?

We should not.

We dare not.

We will not.

Prayer:
Mighty, reascended Lord, the blessing that you gave to your disciples as they watched you begin your trip home has descended upon us through your Word. We thank you for that. We commit ourselves to pass the blessing on to others as we tell them of the marvels of your love. Remind us often of your ascension—lest we forget. Amen.

Written by Rev. Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Belle Plaine, Minnesota.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Note: Scripture reading footnotes are clickable only in the web version.

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