Ascension Worship Service

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May 18, 2023

Theme of the Day

The Festival of the Ascension is one of the oldest and most joyful celebrations in the Christian Church. It will be observed by Christians until Christ returns to take us to be with him. The Ascension marks the completion of Jesus’ earthly mission, but it does not signify the end of his work. While on earth, Jesus had set aside so much of his divine power. But Jesus now picks all that power back up again. He ascended to exercise his limitless authority for the Church as we carry out our mission to be Christ’s ambassadors of grace to the world. He lives! 

Pastor Westendorf’s Welcome

Call to Worship – Luke 24:44-53

  He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
  When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Grades 6-8 Sing and Play Ukulele – Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing – CW 708

1 Come, thou Fount of ev’ry blessing,
    tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
    call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
    sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise his name, I’m fixed upon it,
    name of God’s redeeming love.

2 Hitherto thy love has blessed me,
    thou hast drawn me to this place;
and I know thy hand will lead me
    safely home by thy good grace.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
    wand’ring from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
    bought me with his precious blood.

3 Oh, to grace how great a debtor
    daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
    bind my wand’ring heart to thee:
prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
    prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
    seal it for thy courts above.


We worship our victorious and ascended Savior Jesus 
  in the Name of the Father 
  and of the Son 
  and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.

Sing praises to God, sing praises; 
  sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth; 
  sing to Him a psalm of praise.

On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build – CW 476

1 On Christ’s ascension I now build
    the hope of my ascension.
This hope alone has always stilled
    all doubt and apprehension,
for where the head is, there as well
I know his members are to dwell
    when Christ shall come and call them.

In that day you will say: 
“I will praise you, O LORD. 
  Although you were angry with me, 
your anger has turned away 
  and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation; 
  I will trust and not be afraid. 
The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; 
  He has become my salvation.”

On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build – CW 476

2 Since Christ returned to claim his throne,
    great gifts for me obtaining,
my heart will rest in him alone,
    no other rest remaining,
for where my treasure went before,
there all my thoughts will ever soar
    to still their deepest yearning.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 
In that day you will say, 
“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his Name;
  make known among the nations what he has done, 
  and proclaim that his Name is exalted.
Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; 
  let this be known to all the world.

On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build – CW 476

3 O grant, dear Lord, this grace to me,
    recalling your ascension,
that I may serve you faithfully,
    in thanks for my redemption;
and then, when all my days will cease,
let me depart in joy and peace
    in answer to my pleading.

Confession and Absolution

Let us make confession of our sins before God and be assured of his forgiveness through our victorious and ascended Savior Jesus.
Lord of life, I confess that I am by nature dead in sin.
    For faithless worrying and selfish pride,
    for sins of habit and sins of choice,
    for the evil I have done and the good I have failed to do,
you should cast me away from your presence forever.
O Lord, I am sorry for my sins. Forgive me, for Jesus’ sake.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. In His great mercy, God made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in our sins. Hear the Word of Christ through His called servant: I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, 
  for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Grades K-8 – Lift High the Name of Jesus

The congregation sings the Chorus and Verse 3.

1 Lift high the name of Jesus
Of Jesus our King
Make known the power of his grace
The beauty of his peace
Remember how his mercy reached
And we cried out to him
He lifted us to solid ground
To freedom from our sin

Oh sing my soul
And tell all he’s done
Till the earth and heavens are filled with his glory!

2 Lift high the name of Jesus
Of Jesus our Lord
His power in us is greater than
Is greater than this world
To share the rеason for our hope
To serve with lovе and grace
That all who see him shine through us
Might bring the Father praise

Oh sing my soul
And tell all he’s done
Till the earth and heavens are filled with his glory!

3 Lift high the name of Jesus
Of Jesus our Light
No other name on earth can save
Can raise a soul to life
He opens up our eyes to see
The harvest he has grown
We labor in his fields of grace
As he leads sinners home

Oh sing my soul
And tell all he’s done
Till the earth and heavens are filled with his glory!


Lord Jesus, King of glory, on this day you ascended far above the heavens, and at God’s right hand you rule the nations. Leave us not alone, we pray, but grant us the Spirit of truth that, at your command and by your power, we may be your witnesses in all the world; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

Handchimes – Worship Our Lord and King

A Reading from John 14 (selected verses)

  [Jesus said,] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 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? And 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. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 

  “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.

  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

K-8 – There Are Many Rooms

God Speaks to Us through His Word

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
After his suffering, on one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: 

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing – CW 472

1 A hymn of glory let us sing!
New songs throughout the world shall ring:
    Alleluia, alleluia!
Christ, by a road before untrod,
ascends unto the throne of God.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

2 The holy apostolic band
upon the Mount of Olives stand,
    Alleluia, alleluia!
and with his followers they see
their Lord ascend in majesty.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

3 To them the shining angels cry,
“Why stand and gaze upon the sky?”
    Alleluia, alleluia!
“This is the Savior,” thus they say.
“This is his glorious triumph day.”
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

4 “You see him now, ascending high
up to the portals of the sky.”
    Alleluia, alleluia!
“Hereafter Jesus you shall see
returning in great majesty.”
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

5 Be now our joy on earth, O Lord,
and be our future great reward.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
Then, throned with you forever, we
shall praise your name eternally.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

6 O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
all praise to you let earth accord.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
You are, while endless ages run,
with Father and with Spirit one.
    Alleluia, alleluia!
    Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Pastor Frick’s Sermon – Exodus 14:21-31

Mission Accomplished

  Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

  The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen – the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

  But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Confession of Faith

  The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
  I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord.
  He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death.
  All this He did that I should be His own, and live under Him in His Kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He has risen from death and lives and rules eternally.
  This is most certainly true.


Junior Choir – Not I But through Christ in Me


Jesus Christ, our ascended Lord, give us your blessing as you blessed your disciples, that we may be filled with your power and declare your praise. 

You are head over everything for your Church. Give us your Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we may know you better. Enlighten us that we may know the hope of our heavenly inheritance.

You commissioned your disciples to be your witnesses to the ends of the earth. Send your Holy Spirit on all your people, that we may bear witness to your gospel of repentance and forgiveness, and bring your kingdom of grace to those who live in darkness.

You rule the world with truth and grace. Govern and guide the leaders of all nations, so that your Word may spread to the ends of the earth, and that we may enjoy security and peace.

You rule at your Father’s right hand, and all things are under your feet. When dark days come, remind us of your gracious rule over everything for us, the members of your body, the Church.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the most high, you sit at the right hand of your Father and rule as Lord over all things in heaven and on earth. Send us your Holy Spirit, give us true servants of your Word, and preserve your kingdom on earth by your power until all your enemies lie under your feet, that we may finally overcome sin and death and enjoy eternal life with you; for you live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one true God, forever and ever.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done
        on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    as we forgive those
    who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
    and the glory are yours
    now and forever. Amen.

Grades 6-8 Sing and Play Ukulele – Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, 
  much we need thy tender care;
In thy pleasant pastures feed us, 
  for our use thy folds prepare:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, 
  thou hast bought us, thine we are;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, 
  thou hast bought us, thine we are.

We are thine; do thou befriend us, 
  be the Guardian of our way;
Keep thy flock, from sin defend us, 
  seek us when we go astray:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, 
  hear, O hear us when we pray;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, 
  hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, 
  poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, 
  grace to cleanse, and pow’r to free:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, 
  early let us turn to thee;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, 
  early let us turn to thee.


May the God of all peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Children – Go My Children with My Blessing

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