Worship Companion – May 16 2021

There are at least two reasons to be excited about this Sunday. First, we’re talking about living a radical life for Jesus from our Philippians text for the week. Second, it is Ascension Sunday. Not sure what that is? Thankfully, Father Black and his Lego friends are here to explain it.
John Copley painted this now famous picture of the Ascension of Jesus. He sought to combine the disciplines of history and art together and saw it as a way to teach and inspire people at the same time. As you read the account from Acts 1, what elements of the story do you see woven into this one moment Copley is capturing? On a note of personal reflection – why do you think the Ascension is an important part of the Gospel stor
Easter Season – Ascension Sunday
Philippians Series “Life on the Edge”
Anchor Texts:
Guess what?! You can listen to the whole Letter to the Philippians read by our very own Laurel Aldridge, right here!

The Theme for Kids:
This week I discovered a new series of bible stories for kids (and the kid in all of us) explained through Lego characters. Father Black encounters Tim along the way to church on a Thursday (The 40th day after Easter Sunday is always a Thursday – hence some churches celebrate the Ascension with a special service on a Thursday).
The Ascension is an absolutely critical part of the Gospel – because it initiates the present state of the the Kingdom of God – Jesus is currently ruling from Heaven – and from there we await him to return and consummate his full rule and reign here on Earth – that great day will be the “Day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6,10).

The Theme in Song:
We are called to be radical followers of Jesus because we really and truly believe that we are obeying the orders not of a dead-and-gone popular preacher from 2000 years ago, but from a real living person who sits on the Throne in Heaven. Though we can’t see him with our physical eyes, we see him with the eyes of our hearts (Ephesian 1:18) and we worship the one who sits on the throne. Let this song help you contemplate and worship our Ascended and Reigning King.

The Theme in Art:
See the source image
While there are different ideas in the modern age about what radical living for Jesus looks like (being more or less charismatic, attending the right church, saying the right things) this is another side of living radically in the Western Society that sometimes gets forgotten. It wasn’t in an “unchristianized” country where this woman and many like her were drowned for following Jesus in 1552– but in England, France, Germany and other cornerstone countries of Western society. Anabaptists (the tradition from which our denomination descends) were drowned because of their views about the gospel and obedience to Christ, including the practice of only baptizing Christ-confessing adults.  
Living radically for Jesus has different risks in different ages. Are we ready to follow in the steps of Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus and live radically for Christ today?

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