St. Matthias Ascension Day Reflection

Greetings Siblings in Christ,

Happy Ascension Day!
This is one of those holy days on the church calendar that has never made much sense to me. The creed says that Jesus ascended into heaven. Some traditions make a big deal of this day, closing farm stands and attending worship. For Lutherans such customs have become secondary if at all observed. But this year I sought to get some sense of the significance of this day. An organist friend gave me the insight that he catalogs his music for Ascension and Christ the King in the same section. Christ ascends to his heavenly throne to rule with truth, justice, and grace. This was a significant breakthrough in my understanding of this day. It is not so much the upward movement that is important, but rather what this movement is meant to signify: Christ is Lord of heaven AND earth.
What does this mean for us today?
I “attended” (virtually) the graduation ceremonies of Yale Divinity School this past Monday and Nancy Taylor, co-chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council, gave the graduating class these words: “May you love God so much, that you love nothing else too much. And may you fear God enough, that you need fear nothing else at all.” This to me speaks of what Christ’s kingship may mean for us in our time. We need not fear the days ahead. Christ reigns with truth and love sufficient to save us from sin, death, and despair. Our lives are in his loving hands. We need not be afraid.
We are approaching our last month of ministry together. It will not be the month of celebrations and potlucks I had hoped it would be. And yet I am confident that the next chapter of St. Matthias will be a good one, with much flourishing, and perhaps also a bit of change. Your next vicar and I have been in conversation regarding the transition from my leadership to hers. I am excited! I trust that the Lord has great things in store for the year ahead despite the unusual reality we are all facing. We need not fear. Christ is Lord of heaven and earth. May we fear him enough that we need fear nothing else at all.
May you continue to be well until we meet again!

For Christian M. (Marines) and all service personnel.

For the family and friends of Richard Terrace (best man of the Prates’)

For the family and friends of Richard Waibel (stepbrother of Jenny Prates)

For those in our community who are ill or recovering from illness this week, their friends, and the loved ones who care for them,

Don and Joanne, Jacques, Pam, Betty Lou, Mark, Paula, Pat, Judy, Seth, Paula, DJ, Margaret, the Valezquez family, the Boyne family, the Hanes family, the Sherman family, the Sheaffer family, Marleen’s brother Larry (liver disease), Sally (friend of Kathy Gold)
and all who ask the Lord’s healing and mercy.
Christ is Risen!
Vicar Tom

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