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Prayers for Ascension Sunday

Call to worship

Ascended Lord Jesus, WE ADORE YOU!
Once You lived a human life, you changed and grew over time:
NOW YOU ARE THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER!
Once You were limited to one particular place:
NOW YOU ARE PRESENT WHEREVER PEOPLE TURN TO YOU!
Once only those who met You face to face knew You:
NOW YOUR LOVE IS FELT THROUGHOUT ALL THE WORLD!
Ascended Jesus, Lord of time and space, love as wide as life - WE ADORE YOU!

(by John Maynard - Adapted )

Prayers

Praise - based on psalm 68

O God, how happy we are to be in your presence.
We SHOUT for joy!  PRAISE YOU LORD!
We sing praise to your name. We're so glad to be with you.
We SHOUT for joy!  PRAISE YOU LORD!
You care for everyone in need, the poor and defenceless, the grieving, the lonely.
You give us all hope and love.
We SHOUT for joy!  PRAISE YOU LORD!
You led your people out of Egypt and took care of them, guiding them, feeding them, teaching them.
You poured down the refreshing rain of your love. And it pours abundantly still!
We SHOUT for joy!  PRAISE YOU LORD!
The whole world is yours, all its kingdoms. You created it and you care for it.
We SHOUT for joy!  PRAISE YOU LORD!
You give strength and power to your people.
We SHOUT for joy!  PRAISE YOU LORD! Amen

Prayer of confession

Once more we have to come to you with our prayers of confession Lord Jesus.
Piled up before us are our short comings - the things we've done wrong, the things we've thought or said, the way we have ignored your calling to us, the times we haven't taken the opportunity to do good.
For some people its been quite a good week, there's just a handful of faults and failings.
But some of them look awfully familiar! They haven't learnt their lesson.
For others, not such a good week - bad deeds are piled high. Almost overflowing!
All of us have let you down. All of us are in need of forgiveness.
We are truly sorry and beg for your forvgiveness...

look! the pile is gone, forgotten, as if it had never happened.
For God loved us so much that he sent us jesus to die for us, to rise again that the slate might be wiped clean
Jesus says 'your sins are forgiven'

And Jesus has gone back to be with his father so that we make our own decisions, we make our own response to the call 'come follow me'. But he leaves us the Holy Spirit.
Help us, Spirit, to walk in Jesus' way this week.

Amen.

Blessing

Go and be witnesses for Christ
(left side) IN JERUSALEM
(right side) IN ALL JUDEA AND SAMARIA
(All) AND TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
And may the Kingdom come!
or, as an alternative last line
Don't just stand there gazing into heaven - do something!

THEME INTRODUCTION

an idea by Susan Sayers.

Different ways of saying goodbye.
Either get actory types to work on set scenarios, or try a 'whose line is it anyway' version, where congregation members shout out ideas.
examples   mum saying goodbye to child on first day at school
boy/girlfriend on the phone
hotel guest trying to leave with hotel stuff,
adult child with elderly parent

Goodbye's are different depending on our relationship with a person and how long the gap of time is going to be.
Jesus friends had to say goodbye and it was a bit of a shock - last goodbye.

Jesus prepared them well by coming and going so they were almost used to the idea of his presence with them even when they could not see him.
Amd promises to send them the Holy Spirit
So not really a goodbye at all.
Chance to say hello to the Spirit, hello to being follower of Christ, hello to new people - Jesus tells them to be witnesses to God's love. Its the same for us.