Ascension Day 2009. Lord's Bridge Team @ Toft.
Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1:15-22; Luke 24:44-end
<<We are the Lord's; We are a bridge; We are a team.>>
Good to have a full church!
Good to gather Lord's Bridge Team – I know we're not a legal reality yet.
Using the theme of Ascension Day – our common calling as the Church in these villages.
Took a while to decide on a name for the team ministry.
Lord's Bridge Team alongside Lord's Chess Team and Lord's Tiddlywinks Team.
Use the name as a peg to hang some thoughts from our reading.
Cheesey – remember it – I'll have achieved my aim!
We are the Lord's - We are a Bridge - We are a Team.
We are the Lord's.
2nd reading - Ephesians
[prayer. Collects in the Church of England – packed full of theology – concentrate!
St Paul's prayers even more like that. Grasp how God has put them at the centre of his plans]
“God's mighty strength was seen at work when he raised Christ from the dead, and enthroned him at his right hand in the heavenly realms [ascension], far above all government and authority, all power and dominion, and any title of sovereignty that commands allegiance... God put all things in subjection under Christ's feet, and gave Christ as head over all things to the church.”
- The Lord Jesus is Lord of all – financial systems, greedy politians, flu pandemics.
- Jesus is in a very special relationship with the Church. Q literally “God gave Christ to the Church.”
We are the Lord's.
Whether we're C of E, Methodist, some other denomination. Whether we live in Caldecote or Coton our first allegiance is to Lord Jesus Christ.
Great confidence that although in village churches, keeping rain out of the building – let alone – can seem hard work. We belong to The Lord of all who holds all things together.
Good. The Lord's name in our Team name.
We are a Bridge
Clergy team discussing if we were to have a logo for the team what would it be?
Of course the most famous Lord's Bridge landmark is the radio telescopes gazing up into the sky– could that be incorporated into a logo?
Not pre-empt. Not the most appropriate image for ascension.
“Men of Galilee why are you standing looking up into the sky?”
Angels directed the apostles' attention to the world around them rather than the heavens.
Called to be bridge-builders between earth and heaven. Point others to the Lord.
Last thing Jesus said: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will bear witness for me in Jerusalem, and throughout all Judaea and Samaria, and even in the farthest corners of the earth.”
Gross misunderstanding to think that now Jesus has ascended into heaven he is uninterested in ordinary day-to day life on earth.
Message of Ascension is not that Jesus is no longer here but that he is now everywhere!
Fills creation “who is filling the universe in all its parts” Eph1:23
Nothing is too profane to be shunned by our Lord.
Toddler group, group regulars in the pub, the WI.
[Another dimension. Physicists talk about unseen dimensions wrapped in on themselves.]
Our calling then is not just to stand gazing up to heaven – whether that's holding beautiful worship services or having deep theological discussions
to build bridges between the everyday and the sacred. Help others to encounter that other dimension. God is deeply interested in bringing up children, surviving the credit crunch, caring for the elderly.
We are a Team
Not there explicitly in our readings – but under surface
Eph1v23 “The church which is his body”
Paul uses the same image 1 Cor 12. Picture parts of the body all playing their part. “the eye cannot say to the hand...”
Unity in diversity
As a curate... I've loved leading worship in nearly every one of churches...
All our churches are unique. Distinctive communities.
Called to work together. Recognise our different gifts add up to more than we can ever be on our own.
As we stand with the apostles, on the Mount of Olives. Let us hear their commission and renew our confidence in our own commission as the Lord's Bridge Team.
We are first and foremost the Lord's
We are called to build Bridges
And we are a diverse but united Team.