SERMON TITLE: “I Believe Jesus Ascended” (in The Apostles’ Creed series)
SERMON TEXT: Acts 1:1-11
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: February 3, 2019, at First UMC
My maternal grandmother was born in England. When she was nine years old, her family migrated to Alberta, Canada. She eventually made her way to Montana and U.S. citizenship after marrying an American. One of the small, but cherished, things I inherited from my grandma was a little metal box in which she used to keep her postage stamps. Because Grandma wrote me lots of letters, I associate that stamp box with many warm feelings.
The little metal box was special to Grandma because, on the lid, it had a picture of Queen Elizabeth II. The box had been made and sold as a commemoration to Queen Elizabeth’s 1952 ascension to the throne over England and the entire United Kingdom.
Since we Americans don’t have royalty, we tend to look to the British for our understanding of monarchy. And since Queen Elizabeth II has held her high office since her father died 67 years ago, many of us younger ones have never witnessed an ascension to that throne. Having observed several royal weddings, however, we can quickly imagine that there would be a lot of pomp and circumstance of both a civic and religious nature. Even the current chaos of Brexit wouldn’t stop the Brits from going all out if Elizabeth were to retire or die, and her firstborn child Charles, Prince of Wales, were to ascend to the throne.
Ascension. That’s what we’re talking about today. Not the British royal family kind, but the King of kings and Lord of lords Jesus kind. For several weeks, we’ve been progressing through The Apostles’ Creed from God the Father to Jesus the Son and from Jesus’ suffering and death to his resurrection. And now, as we come to the lines, “he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead,” I invite you to consider what it means for us to say, “I believe Jesus ascended.”