Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-FIFTH OF MAY, 2017
*Ascension Day *

OPENING PRAYER

Risen Christ, you have raised our human nature to the throne of heaven: help us to seek and serve you, that we may join you at the Father’s side, where you reign with the Spirit in glory, now and for ever. Amen.

CANTICLE

Christ was believed in throughout the world
and taken up in glory.

Christ Jesus was revealed in the flesh
and vindicated in the spirit.
He was seen by angels
and proclaimed among the nations.
Believed in throughout the world,
he was taken up in glory.
This will be made manifest at the proper time
by the blessed and only Sovereign,
who alone has immortality,
and dwells in unapproachable light.

To the King of kings and Lord of lords
be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

Christ was believed in throughout the world
and taken up in glory.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Ascension Day: taking captivity captive

Today, forty days after Easter, Saint Laika’s remembers the Ascension of Our Lord.

Scripture. In “Ephesians,” chapter four, verses seven and eight, we read:

“But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, ‘When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.’”

In the Lutheran liturgy we begin our prayer of confession by saying: “Most Merciful God, we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves.”

Saint Jerome writes that when Christ came among us as one of us, he came “bearing the baggage of captivity.” As one of us he became the victim of evil, by becoming a thorn in the side of those seeking earthly power. He was accused of rabble-rousing, of inciting people to riot, and was brutally tortured and killed. It seemed our captivity was complete. But according to the witness of many people, who saw him alive for forty days after his Resurrection, he was still among us. The “first-born of the dead,” they called him.

Ephesians says that by ascending on high he made captivity a captive. Perhaps we should take that to mean that, as Jerome said: “we were snatched out of an old captivity into a new freeing captivity to Christ.”

By giving us gifts of faith and grace, Christ still binds us to him, but in such a way that here on earth, and later in eternity, we are on a path of discovery: we are able to discover who God created us to be, and what difference we can make in the world God so loves.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray…

… for peace in the world.

… that we may discover and learn to use our spiritual gifts.

… for those whose lives are dominated by fear and anxiety.

… for freedom from the chains that bind us and hold us back from being truly a child of God.

… for the people of Argentina, Jordan and Lebanon who all celebrate national days today.

… for Bradley Lowery and all children suffering from a terminal or life threatening illness. DETAILS

… for the thirty-four migrants, some of them young children, who drowned after falling into the sea off the Libyan coast. DETAILS

… for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

… for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

… for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

… for ourselves.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From “Warfare the Condition of Victory” by John Henry Newman:

Christ is already in that place of peace, which is all in all. He is on the right hand of God. He is hidden in the brightness of the radiance which issues from the everlasting throne. He is in the very abyss of peace, where there is no voice of tumult or distress, but a deep stillness, stillness, that greatest and most awful of all goods which we can fancy, that most perfect of joys, the utter, profound, ineffable tranquillity of the divine essence. He has entered into his rest.

O how great a good will it be, if, when this troublesome life is over, we in our turn also enter into that same rest, if the time shall one day come, when we shall enter into his tabernacle above, and hide ourselves under the shadow of his wings; if we shall be in the number of those blessed dead who die in the Lord, and rest from their labour. Here we are tossing upon the sea, and the wind is contrary. All through the day we are tried and tempted in various ways. We cannot think, speak, or act, but infirmity and sin are at hand. But in the unseen world, where Christ has entered, all is peace. “There is no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. xxi. 4) Nor any more sin; nor any more guilt; no more remorse; no more punishment; no more penitence; no more trial; no infirmity to depress us; no affection to mislead us; no passion to transport us; no prejudice to blind us; no sloth, no pride, no envy, no strife; but the light of God’s countenance, and a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne. That is our home; here we are but on pilgrimage, and Christ is calling us home. He calls us to his many mansions, which he has prepared. And the Spirit and the Bride call us too, and all things will be ready for us by the time of our coming. “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest that has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession;” seeing we have “so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight;” “let us labour to enter into our rest;” “let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. iv. 11, 14, 16; xii. 1)

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, your only son was taken into the heavens and in your presence intercedes for us. Receive us and our prayers for all the world, and in the end bring everything into your glory; through Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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