AscensionWebAnnouncementOn Thursday, the Church of God recalls when Christ ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father, Almighty, and we received the promise of His return to judge the living and the dead.

It is often thought that Christ, having ascended and now invisible, is now far away from us and has left us to do all the work on earth. But the opposite is true. Jesus ascended because it is from Heaven that He can best accomplish His purposes on earth.

Had Jesus remained visible and walking among us, He could not have accomplished nearly so much as He has accomplished through the preaching of the Church, through Baptism and through the Lord’s Supper. Had He remained on earth, it would have been impossible for many of us to have heard His voice and be called to Him. Our short life span and the limits of distance and travel would have meant that most of us would not hear the voice of our Shepherd calling us by name. It would have meant that Christ could not have baptized us and, thereby, given us new birth by water and the Word and brought us into the family of God.

But having ascended into heaven, He now fills all things. What’s more, He has sent His Holy Spirit to work in and through the preaching of the good news that He has died and risen to rescue and redeem us from sin and eternal condemnation.

Now, Christ works in this world through those things that He has established to create and sustain His church – the preaching and teaching which He commissioned the Apostles to do as well as Baptism and the eating of His body and drinking of His blood.

Therefore, we take comfort and have peace in the knowledge that He is with us, just as He promised, “Lo, I am with you always,” as He works through these means.

We invite everyone to join with us on Thursday, May 5, at 7:00 P.M. to hear of Christ’s ongoing work that He accomplishes as He lives and reigns at the right hand of God to keep and sustain us in the true faith so that when He returns, we may be gathered with Him eternally.

For the spiritual health and well-being of those who do not regularly gather with us at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, we ask that Christians who are not members of Bethlehem or another congregation in formal fellowship with the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod speak with our pastor before receiving the Lord’s body and blood at our altar.