Dear friends,

Below are a few nuggets of wisdom on the ascension of Jesus. They are all from official Anglican writings from the 1500’s.

The 39 Articles were begun mid-century and completed in the 1570’s. They have been the central statement of the Anglican faith ever since. Church of the Messiah is a member of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). The 39 Articles, along with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal are the official statement of faith of ANiC. We are also part of the GAFCON movement, so the 2008 Jerusalem Declaration is also considered to be a brief, contemporary statement of faithful, biblical, orthodox Anglicanism.

Here is Article 4 of the 39 Articles. “Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again His body, with flesh, bones and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature; wherewith He ascended into heaven, and there sits, until He returns to judge all men at the last day.”

Here is the “The Preface” for Ascension Day. This is a prayer added to the communion service. So it communicates doctrine in the form of prayer. “Through Your most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord; Who after His glorious resurrection manifestly appeared to all His Apostles, and in their sight ascended up into heaven to prepare a place for us, that where He is, we might also ascend, and reign with Him in glory…”

Here is the Collect for Ascension Day. Once again, it is a doctrinally informed prayer to pray. “Grant we beseech You, Almighty God, that like as we do believe Your only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to have ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind ascend, and with Him continually dwell. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Finally, in the words of the 4th century Nicene Creed. “And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end.”

Please note, the image of the Lord “sitting” in heaven is not an image or Him resting or waiting. It is an image of triumph. His victory is accomplished. It is complete. He is Lord. He is the Lord. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, high above all.

George