For those of you who were able to join us this past Sunday, I want to thank you for the ways that you strengthened each other with the sharing of your blessings. I know that some of what was shared in the pews was far more powerful than anything I could say from the front of the church. Thank you for your witness and faithfulness.
This weekend we will celebrate the Ascension of our Lord. Over the last two weeks, our Gospel reading has shown us Jesus reflecting on his love for his followers, knowing that he has come from the Father and will return to the Father while they will be his body in the world. If you want to read Jesus' prayer from the heart for his followers, you can read chapter 17 of the Gospel of John. In the meantime, I would like to share with you a prayer written by Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia President David Lose, which is a prayer for us as we continue to celebrate and struggle with what it means to be the body of Christ here and now, with all of the joys and all of the challenges that the seasons of a life of faith can bring:
Dear God, whose love knows no ending, we know this life is beautiful and difficult and sometimes both at the same time. We do not ask that you take us out of this world, but that you support and protect us while we are in it. We pray that you would set us apart in your truth, that your love is for everyone, and we ask that you would send us out to bear witness in word and deed to your grace, goodness, and love. May we hear your voice calling us at home and at work, at school, our social settings, and the places we gather and volunteer, that we might feel and share your love. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the one set apart and made holy for us. Amen.