Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
2 Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our feast day.
4 For it is a statute for Israel,
a rule[just decree] of the God of Jacob.
5 He made it a decree in Joseph
when he went out over the land of Egypt.
I hear a language I had not known:
6 “I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
7 In distress you called, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah
8 Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9 There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.
13 Oh, that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 I would soon subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him,
and their fate would last forever.
16 But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
This was ruined for me as a young believer. I saw too many ideas of what the Ascension looked like and felt uncomfortable. Orbit and necessity came to mind.
Then Off to College were I was recommended to take a class of Egyptian History and the Professor, who was said to be a Christian, said most of the Judeo-Christian History is just a jealous copy of the slaves for the Egyptian higher ups. Psalms were quoted. Lack of Exodus History was cited. Then the Ascension was debunked as being a Christ follows what the Pharaohs did for years.
You can't argue with a professor on the first day, but you can get up leave the class in the middle, drop the class and start to do your own learning and evaluation. This I did.
Turns out this battle has gone on for millenniums. It's easy to solve. Pharaohs = dead. Christ, Christian Church = Faith, Hope, Love = Alive.
We can cite The Ipuwer. We can cite Thutmose Tax Records. We can see Joseph EL on Pharaoh Monuments.
So Jesus rose. Why. I wondered for years and years. Dan Brown came a long and we found out why Jesus rose. Jesus did not get married. He did not sneak around with 11 Disciples and 72 Disciples and His wife. No. Instead, The Multitudes found Jesus in the wilderness and Jesus fed us and them abundantly.
The movie The Passion of the Christ.
Never has a more difficult movie been attempted or proclaimed and so difficult to see more than once. A dear friend said as he wept, "We could not, could not, see This. If we did not believe during Good Friday that Easter is Coming and Jesus Lives. Is Alive."
And Mel Gibson went on to flounder around and make a spectacle of a man who'd led a fairly amazingly, calm Hollywood life until after the film.
I can understand why. No one. No person. Nothing compares to Jesus.
No one is going to stand and be real and say "I'm just fine." Eventually dirt is going to come out and flaws, weaknesses and sins will arise. Because God says this is True of us all.
We could start naming every famous evangelical and their problems now. Or, let's for fun, dig up the Crusade - the brief period of History just exactly like Empire upheaval and overheaval and underheaval certainly happens regularly. Or we could say Peter and Paul did not always see eye to eye. Or Barnabas and Paul. Or that infidel John Mark, who went on to write books we call The Gospel According to Mark. We do see cohesion when Polycarp and Bishop Papias of Hierapolis both report the Beloved Disciple John actually really approved and liked and affirmed the four Gospels!
The point of the Ascension was pointed out to me. Finally. Last year. Dee and Sharon said, "Well the point of the Ascension is Jesus didn't run off to the Greek Dispersion. He said I will never leave nor forsake you. We know Jesus and where He is."
And we all know where Jesus went. He did not rise and leave everyone to flounder around.
Thanks so much to our Bishop and Canon Stephen Saul for bringing out John 14 today.
1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”
The Story of Jesus' Promises to us make us more than Conquerors. Consider these pictures:
Because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
Our desire to hold Jesus to us and the Joy of seeing Jesus restored.
Psalm 81 ~ I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
And being asked Jesus said:
I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
Words to live by.
Rise. Let us go from ...here.
Jesus waited for His Brothers. And in Seeing Jesus, they came to know His Love.
Help me. I want to be like that too.
In the Name of Jesus, please cover my thoughts, ways, words and walk to be pleasing to You. My Rock and My Redeemer.
My Jesus. My Savior. Nothing is above Jesus. The Highest of All. Jesus. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †