PRAYER & WORSHIP AT HOME
Online Service for the Sunday after Ascension Day
Welcome to our service for the Sunday after Ascension Day – please join in with the alleluias – if we were all together I would be wanting each alleluia to be louder than the last one – a mighty crescendo!
Hail the day that sees him rise – Alleluia.
To his throne above the skies – Alleluia!
Christ, the Lamb for sinners given – Alleluia!!
Enters now the highest heaven – Alleluia!!!
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit – Amen.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, for forty days we have been celebrating with joyful hearts the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, his bursting from the tomb and his defeat of the power of sin and death. He then appeared to his disciples many times and told them about the kingdom of God.
Today we recall how he left this earth and returned to his Father, ascending into heaven to take his throne over all dominions and powers. Trusting in his reign over all creation, and submitting to his kingly yet loving rule, let us hear the story of his parting.
The Ascension Reading
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (1.4-11)
While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have 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, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set 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, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’
The word of the Lord – thanks be to God.
Let us pray:
O GOD the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven: We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
Affirmation of faith – please respond to this affirmation or form of creed with Amen.
Though Jesus was divine, he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing. Taking the form of a slave, he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself and was obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high, and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Prayer – light the candle…..
During these days in between Ascension Day and Pentecost, churches all over the world are uniting in prayer and the prayer is – Thy Kingdom Come.
We are intentionally praying for God to move people to come to faith. We are invited by the church as a whole to name five people – friends, relatives – who we are yearning for – that they might know the peace Jesus comes to bring. So I invite you now to begin by asking God to show you who it is who needs to be brought into a relationship with God through the life of Jesus. Then name those people who have come to mind and in silence, ask God to move in their lives, to awaken them, to remind them of the new life that they can step into – the life of Jesus.
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles – after Jesus has ascended, the disciples and others close to Jesus return to Jerusalem – and this is what they now have to do – to pray and wait, to stay in, to prepare. It is a really encouraging and hopeful reading for our times – and it promises us a time of renewal as we look ahead to Pentecost next Sunday:
Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying. They were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
As we wait in silence: make us ready for your coming Spirit.
As we listen to your word: make us ready for your coming Spirit.
As we worship you in majesty: make us ready for your coming Spirit.
As we long for your refreshing: make us ready for your coming Spirit.
As we long for your renewing: make us ready for your coming Spirit.
As we long for your equipping: make us ready for your coming Spirit.
As we long for your empowering: make us ready for your coming Spirit.
Words of encouragement……
May the Spirit, who set the Church on fire upon the day of Pentecost,
bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ.
And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
This week's "Wednesday Word" is from our Reader-in-training, Kate Wydra:
The Horsham Food Bank still needs your help – please do bring gifts of non-perishable food to both churches. They are running short. At this time think of others and give what you can. Teams will collect your donations and deliver them to the Food Bank. Thank you.