12 May 2024


Seventh Sunday of Easter

Ascension of the Lord

Luke 24:44-53(A,B,C)

Easter People Bless


Additional Scriptures

Psalm 47; Acts 1:1-11; Ephesians 1:15-23



Hymn of Praise                                

“Uyai Mose/Come All You People”              repeat several times               
CCS 84

            Encourage participants to sing in languages other than their own.

OR “Holy Spirit, Come with Power”                                                            
CCS 46

OR “All Creatures of Our God and King”                                                    
CCS 98

            Encourage participants to sing in languages other than their own.


Call to Worship: Psalm 47:6-7

Today will sing praises just as we are told! Let our words and melodies be blessing to each other!

Invitation to Worship

“Je louerai l’Éternel/Praise, I Will Praise You, Lord”            sing twice       
CCS 115

Encourage participants to sing in languages other than their own.

OR “I Will Sing, I Will Sing”                                                                       
CCS 112

Encourage participants to sing in languages other than their own.

OR “Sing to God as Sings the Ocean”                                                          
CCS 104



Prayer for Peace

Light the Peace Candle.


Holy Spirit of Peace,

Open our eyes to your world in need.

Forgive us for selfish inward gazing.

As we focus on the ruptures within humanity and creation, help us recognize your unfolding truths.

Where we see injustice, let us cry out.

Where we see injury, let us reach forth with helping hands.

May all those who struggle find the true peace of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray.


-Glenn Johnson


Scripture Reading: Luke 24:44-53

A Story of Blessing

Invite an evangelist to share about the sacrament of evangelist blessing and an experience they had while providing the sacrament of blessing.

Hymn of Blessing

“O for a World”                                                                                             
CCS 379

OR “Hands of Blessing”                                                                                
CCS 548

OR “There Is a Balm in Gilead”                                                                   
CCS 234


Based on Luke 24:44-53

Ministry of Music or Congregation Hymn
“Blessed Is the Body and the Soul”                                                               
CCS 238
OR “God, Bless Your Church with Strength”                                               
CCS  638

OR “We Serve the Prince of Peace”                                                             
CCS 348

Encourage participants to sing in languages other than their own.


Disciples’ Generous Response


Ask someone to share a testimony describing when they have been blessed to receive the generosity of others.

As we share our gifts, we support the mission of Christ locally and around the worldwide church. Let us generously share what we can as we work with Jesus, the peaceful one.

As we share our mission tithes either by placing money in the plates or through eTithing, use this time to thank God for the many gifts received in life. Our hearts grow aligned with God’s when we gratefully receive and faithfully respond by living Christ’s mission.

If members of your congregation are meeting online: We can give through the church’s website at www.CofChrist.org/give or through eTithing at www.eTithing.org  Consider showing these URL’s on screen

Blessing and Receiving of Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes

Hymn of Commitment

“Lord Jesus, of You I Will Sing/Jésus, je voudrais te chanter”                       
CCS 556/557

Encourage participants to sing in a language other than their own.

OR “Go, My Children, with My Blessing”                                                   
CCS 650

OR “I Wish God’s Love to Be with You”                                                     
CCS 663

Encourage participants to sing in a language other than their own.


Sending Forth

Be a people who embody the fullness of the gospel.

Make your faith known, share your light, and be a people of blessing in all you do!




Year B—Letters

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Ascension of the Lord

Luke 24:44-53(A,B,C)


Exploring the Scripture

Today’s passage is part of the longer account in Luke 24 that includes the empty tomb and the encounter of two disciples with Christ on the road to Emmaus. These stories are in harmony with Luke’s entire message that Jesus has come to bring restoration to Israel. In other words, Jesus’ mission is fulfilling God’s promise.

Specifically, the text encompasses Christ’s appearance in Jerusalem and includes Christ’s blessing and his ascension. Consistent with the author’s purpose, verses 44–53 provide continuity between the past and present, then move toward the future. In verse 44, Jesus refers the disciples to the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms. Jesus stresses this link with the past. God was involved from the beginning. God is faithful and engaged in history

People in modern cultures tend to discount the past. But it is important to recognize that tradition and history have much to contribute. The Holy Spirit has encountered many who have gone before us. We are not the first to be blessed by God. We would do well to listen to their stories and testimonies about their encounters with the Divine.

In verse 45, Jesus opens their minds. In the following verses the disciples witness where God is moving at their particular moment in history. He describes divine events they witnessed. It is a reality for them. They know it as truth. Now, Christ has their attention. He challenges them to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sin to all.

As disciples, we, too, need to be aware of where God is moving today. When we allow God’s grace to enter our lives, transformation occurs. When we worship, pray, study, hear the word, and share in the sacraments, God appears and blesses. We are called to share that good news with the world.

Then, in the text, Jesus brings the future into the story. Jesus tells the disciples he is sending what God has promised. He directs them to stay in Jerusalem until they have power from on high. The power they will receive is not theirs. Rather, it is God’s power. It is a gift. This power will come from the Divine. Because they are to wait for it, they have a heightened sense of expectancy and excitement. Something is going to happen. How will the power be revealed?

In verses 50–53, Jesus leads his followers to Bethany and blesses them before he ascends. The Greek word the author uses for bless means “to speak well of.” So, in this text Jesus speaks well of them and praises them. He is asking God to help them gain peace, well-being, and wholeness. We, too, receive Christ’s blessing. As disciples, we are called to share that blessing with others. There are many among us who need blessing. We are to “speak well of” them and ask God’s Spirit to give them peace and wholeness.

In the text, after being blessed, the disciples worship Jesus. They return to Jerusalem with great joy and continually “speak well of” God (vv. 52–53). Our families, congregations, and faith community should also be continually full of joy and praise. Today we speak “well of God” because of our experience that God’s unbounded love and unconditional grace embraces all.

Central Ideas

  1. Jesus came to fulfill everything written about him in the Law of Moses, the prophets, and in the psalms.
  2. The power we receive is from God. It is a divine gift to be used for God’s purposes. It is not power to use for our own benefit.
  3. We are called to be witnesses—proclaimers of repentance and forgiveness of sins—to all nations. Christ’s mission is our mission.

Questions for the Speaker

  1. How do the traditions of your congregation reflect God’s presence? (past)
  2. When has your “mind been opened to scripture”? (present)
  3. Have you ever felt expectant to receive from God? (future)
  4. What are some ways you and your congregation witness of and proclaim the Risen Christ?
  5. How would you explain the ascension of Jesus to a new disciple?



Year B Letters

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Ascension Sunday

Ephesians 1:15–23 (A, B, C) NRSVUE




Ascension Day is when Jesus hikes with his disciples to a mountaintop. There, he blesses them and tells of the coming Holy Spirit before he ascends into heaven.

Prayer for Peace

Ring a bell or chime three times slowly.

Light the peace candle.

Lord, Creator of all life, we are aware of your presence in this space and in our hearts.

Let us pray in silence.

Thank you for this time of holiness. We gather in worship and praise for all you have given, shared, and done. We gather in peace, seeking your peace.

Let us pray in silence.

Grant us your grace. Forgive us for all we have left ungiven, unshared, undone.

Let us pray in silence.

Help us more fully understand the gift of your Son in our lives, and to all peoples.

Let us pray in silence.

Open our hearts and minds. Connect us through our worship that we might deeply embrace the call of your kingdom as a congregation, mission center, and global faith community.

Let us pray in silence.

Lord, we thank you for all things. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Spiritual Practice

Jesus Prayer

This prayer is an ancient spiritual practice from Orthodox Christianity. It is a way of connecting with the gracious spirit of Christ as we ask to receive his mercy.

The prayer comes from the scripture of the blind man calling Jesus to heal him.

Let your breath become slow and even. I will speak the prayer aloud for the first few breaths, and then you will pray silently, repeating the phrases as you breathe:

As you breathe in pray, “Lord Jesus Christ.”

As you breathe out pray, “Have mercy on me.”

We prayerfully will repeat these words for two or three minutes.

Close with an “Amen.”

Invite people to share about this experience.


Sharing Around the Table

Ephesians 1:15–23 NRSVUE

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may perceive what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Sound the alarm! Ring the bells! Bring out the harps, lutes, and lyres! Give thanks to God! Today’s passage from the Letter to the Ephesians is preceded by a prayer, blessing God as the Giver of every spiritual blessing…and for the redemption we receive through Christ. It serves as a beautiful opening, setting the stage for the words of praise and supplication poured out on behalf of the faith community.

Although the letter’s recipients are unknown to the author, they are commended for their faithfulness to God and one another. The author prays that they might experience a deepening relationship with God; that as they grow in faith, they might increase in hope, wisdom, and knowledge of Christ. In this way, they are able to live more fully as the church—the ministry and message of Christ in the world.

The fullness of Christ is expressed by the church living as a reflection of Christ. The church, a reflection of the presence of Christ in the world today, is called and empowered to overcome divisions, boundaries, and walls that separate, marginalize, and demean individuals and communities.

Christ gave his life in service of God’s purposes. At the ascension, Christ took his place as the loving, serving head of the church. Similarly, the church is called to give itself in service to the restoring purposes of God and to live in harmony with all creation, choosing reconciliation over division, unity over individualism, and community over self-interest. In this way, all are included in the peaceable reign of Christ.


  1. How do you continually deepen your faith in Jesus Christ and your love for others?
  2. If you were to write a prayer that blesses God, what would it say?
  3. If you were to ask God for a blessing so your faith might be strengthened, what would it be?


Generosity Statement

Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed.

—Doctrine and Covenants 165:6a

The offering basket is available if you would like to support ongoing, small-group ministries as part of your generous response.

            This offering prayer for the Easter season is adapted from A Disciple’s Generous Response:

God of wisdom and love, may the gifts we share be in response to the generous gifts you have given us. May the monetary offerings we give be received in love and used with wisdom. Amen.

Invitation to Next Meeting

Closing Hymn

Community of Christ Sings 636, “I Have Called You by Your Name”

Closing Prayer



Optional Additions Depending on Group

  • Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
  • Thoughts for Children


Thoughts for Children

You will need:

  • Paper hearts with googly eyes glued to them, one for each participant (optional)

Say: In today’s scripture, the author talks about the eyes of your heart. What do you think the author means by that? (Affirm all answers.)

How do you think the eyes of your heart are different from the eyes on your face? (Affirm all answers.)

What can the eyes of your heart see that the eyes on your face can’t? (Affirm all answers.)

Say: The eyes of our heart aren’t actually eyes on our physical heart. Rather, they are the metaphorical eyes that help us see the world the way God sees the world. Rather than seeing all the bad in the world, they help us see the good. Rather than looking angrily at someone who has wronged us, they help us look on them with love.

Next time you are struggling to love, remember the eyes of your heart and try and see the situation the way God would, with unfailing love. (Optional: Give each participant a paper heart with googly eyes on it.)


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