The Ascension of Jesus Christ our King and Ruler of all Creation
Today is a great day for the church united, this is a day that we can all celebrate together as our risen Lord ascends to His proper place above all of creation. Today we can join with the early church in celebrating the wonders of Jesus rising to His heavenly throne, where He now reigns as King over all of creation. So let us reflect on scripture and meditate on the early preaching of this Holy event.
As the Acts of the Apostles chronicles, Acts 1:3-9:
He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
St. Chrysostom, in his Homily III, on the Ascension of Christ:
“O Gallileans, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus Whom you see ascended from you into heaven, He will come again in the same manner as you saw Him ascend to heaven.” This is Jesus Who showed a multitude of wonders. At this feast of the Master, the day of the Ascension, the devil is wailing, as we said, while the faithful are joyful […] “Let all the nations clap their hands, crying to God with a voice of rejoicing. The Lord ascends with the sound of the trumpet, to where He was.” He ascends, but is not separated. For he who descended, has ascended above the heavens. The prophets saw no other, nor did the apostles eat with another. No other was in the bosom of the Father, nor was another judged by Pilate. No other was nailed to the cross with nails, nor was another carried by the Cherubim. No other was wrapped in a shroud by Joseph, nor does another hold creation in the palm of His hand. No other was laid in a tomb, nor was another hymned by the Seraphim. No other is seated with the Father, Who took root in the virginal womb. God ascended with a shout, the Lord with the cry of the trumpet, He Who is the Creator from the ages, Who brought all things into being, Who fashioned Adam, Who generated human nature, Who translated to life Enoch who pleased Him, Who preserved Noah together with the world, Who called Abraham from the land of the Chaldeans, Who made Isaac to be a sign of the mystery of the cross, Who granted Jacob the twelve-pillars of offspring, Who granted Job patience, Who made Moses to become the leader of the people, Who filled Samuel with prophecy from his mother’s womb, Who anointed David as king from the prophets, Who granted Solomon wisdom, Who took up Elias in a flaming chariot, Who instilled the prophets with foreknowledge, Who granted the apostles gifts of healing, and Who cried to them: “Take heart, I have overcome the world.”
This is the Lord of glory Who is ascended into the heavens with a shout, and is seated on the right hand of the Father. Under His authority are angels, and dominions and powers, and it is He Who receives our pained prayers, and makes us victors over the pirates of this world. Under His dominion is every rank of the unclean spirits, as He says to us: “Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon snakes and scorpions.”
Unharmed and spotless, healthy and whole, preserve us in soul and body and spirit, filling us with the fruits of righteousness and fruitfulness, You Who are the God of all, You Who didst make us worthy to gather to celebrate this feast, for to You belong all glory, honor and worship, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
As we stand in awe at the foot of the ascended One, may all glory, power, majesty, dominion and honor be to Him, God almighty, through all ages. Amen.