Statements for pledges and other donations from 1/1/21 to 4/30/21 were mailed last week. If you haven't received you statement or have a question, leave a message at the church office. A Receiving Treasurer will respond.
No matter how you give, our Immanuel Highlands family is deeply grateful for your acts of love, service, and financial giving. Here are some ways to make a financial contribution:
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God. - Luke
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it. - Mark
These are the two principal accounts of the Ascension of Jesus Christ – remembered and celebrated today – forty days after the Resurrection.
Today, the church is literally the Body of Christ – Jesus’ presence in the world – and it is only as we live out that truth in our lives that the good news of the Gospel will spread throughout the world. We are his presence in the world, seen by all in our relationships, in our work and in our service. This is an remarkable responsibility.
We all know, or have known, people who wear this mantle with great grace, and live it out faithfully day after day. For them, it seems to come so naturally, while for most of us it is an ongoing struggle. We are called to move with God in the power of the Spirit as it is being given, and in particular to move outside our usual circle to seek and serve God’s presence and life in every corner of creation, even where it is dark and uncomfortable. This will be for us both a struggle and a delight.
We share this calling and give ourselves to be lifted up by Christ and with Christ. We ask God to forgive and heal us, to send us forth empowered, just as Jesus was sent into the world. With Jesus, we are to be fully alive to Jesus’ call, to speak truth to power, to extend a healing touch to those some call untouchable, and to take up the crosses we are given. We are to follow Jesus, even through death, into new life. This is the Way of Love. To TURN, and reorient ourselves in the direction of grace, love and hope.
Above are the two specific tellings of Jesus’ ascension. I tend, though, to lean into the last words of Matthew, who tells it a different way, and prepares us for what is to come. Matthew’s telling also offers a promise of hope and anticipation. I leave you with his commission and promise, and the hope of the Spirit to come.
…the disciples went to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them…Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ - Matthew