210

Since Our Great High Priest, Christ Jesus (Hebrews 1:3-4; 2:8-11; 4:14-16)

Scripture References

Quoted or directly alluded to:

Call to Worship

Almighty God,
as we prepare to worship today,
we ask that you will stretch our imaginations
to sense the majesty and mystery of your ascension.
Help us perceive how Jesus’ presence in heaven
can give us confidence in our praying
and hope for the future.
Through Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Ascended and reigning Christ,
help all of us who struggle to worship you as Lord
perceive the beauty and glory of your sovereign rule.
Help all of us who struggle to worship you as heavenly priest
discover the beauty and power of your ongoing prayer for us and with us. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.
For the Lord , the Most High, is awesome,
a great king over all the earth.
The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved.
Since, then, we have a great high priest
who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness,
so that we may receive mercy
and find grace to help in time of need.
—Psalm 47:1-2; 93:1; Hebrews 4:14, 16, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Jesus ascended in triumph,
raising our humanity to the heavenly throne.
All authority, glory, and sovereign power are given to him.
There he hears our prayers and pleads our cause before the Father.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
—from Our World Belongs to God, st. 27
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Jesus Christ has come into heaven and is at God’s right hand—
with angels, authorities, and powers in submission to him.
Since we have a great high priest who has gone into heaven—
Jesus, the Son of God—let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
Let us praise his holy name!
Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!
Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength
be to our God forevermore!
Alleluia, Amen!
Alleluia!
—based on Hebrews 4:14; Revelation 5:10, 12
[Reformed Worship 23:41]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Confession

The proof of God’s amazing love is this:
While we were sinners, Christ died for us.
Because we have faith in him,
we dare to approach God with confidence,
trusting that God will forgive our sin
and cleanse us from every kind of wrong.
Let us confess our sins to almighty God.
—based on Romans 5:8; Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 1:8
[BCW, p 52[2],alt.,PD]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Remember that our Lord Jesus Christ is able
to sympathize with us in our weaknesses.
In every respect he was tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Let us confess our sins to almighty God.
—based on Hebrews 4:15-16, NRSV
[BCW, p 53[3],alt.,PD]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Call to Confession
While we claim to celebrate the ascension of our Lord,
the way we live proclaims our lack of faith
in his power to deal with the world.
Let us confess the incongruity between our faith and practice.
Let us pray.
Prayer of Confession
We come, O Lord, on this day of glory to confess our lack of trust.
While we sing of your lordship over all creation,
we have too often acted as though you are powerless
in the face of today’s events.
Help us to live with confidence in your presence today
and in hope for life with you forever. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 11:22]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

Hear the good news: “For Christ also suffered once for sins,
the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
After being made alive, he went and made proclamation
to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago
when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.
In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—
not the removal of dirt from the body
but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.
It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—
with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”
—1 Peter 3:18-22, NIV
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

This saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance:
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
There is one God; there is one mediator
between God and humankind, Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as a ransom for all, to whom we testify.
Great indeed is the mystery of our religion:
He was revealed in flesh,
vindicated in spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.
—based on 1 Timothy 1:15; 2:5-6; 3:16, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

We declare with joy:
Christ suffered once for sins,
the righteous for the unrighteous,
to bring us to God.
He was put to death in the body
but made alive in the Spirit.
Now he has gone into heaven
and is at God’s right hand—
with angels, authorities, and powers in submission to him.
—based on 1 Peter 3:18, 22
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Jesus Christ has been ordained by God the Father
and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit
to be our chief prophet and teacher
who fully reveals to us
the secret counsel and will of God concerning our deliverance;
our only high priest
who has delivered us by the one sacrifice of his body,
and who continually pleads our cause with the Father;
and our eternal king
who governs us by his Word and Spirit,
and who guards us and keeps us in the freedom he has won for us.
He ascended to heaven
to show there that he is head of his church,
the one through whom the Father rules all things.
In all distress and persecution,
with uplifted head,
we confidently await the very judge
who has already offered himself to the judgment of God
in our place and removed the whole curse from us.
Christ will cast all his enemies and ours
into everlasting condemnation,
but will take all his chosen ones to himself
into the joy and glory of heaven.
—from Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A’s 31, 50, 52
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

As followers of Jesus Christ,
living in this world—
which some seek to control,
and others view with despair—
we declare with joy and trust:
Our world belongs to God!
From the beginning,
through all the crises of our times,
until the kingdom fully comes,
God keeps covenant forever:
Our world belongs to God!
God is King! Let the earth be glad!
Christ is victor: his rule has begun!
The Spirit is at work: creation is renewed!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Jesus ascended in triumph,
raising our humanity to the heavenly throne.
All authority, glory, and sovereign power are given to him.
There he hears our prayers
and pleads our cause before the Father.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Our hope for a new creation is not tied
to what humans can do,
for we believe that one day
every challenge to God’s rule will be crushed.
His kingdom will fully come,
and our Lord will rule.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Our World Belongs to God, st. 1-2, 27, 55
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling
and to present you before his glorious presence
without fault and with great joy—
to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
—Jude 24-25, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

O God of all power and majesty,
you created the heavens and stretched them out.
You formed the earth and all that comes from it.
You give the breath of life to all who walk on the face of the earth.
Jesus, you conquered sin and death and now reign victorious.
You are Lord; glory is due your name.
The former things have come to pass;
we now await the new things you will bring through the Holy Spirit.
We rejoice to be gathered in your name.
Alleluia! Accept our praises and petitions. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 39:28]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The following is a guide for extemporaneous prayers. The pattern provides a suggested text
for the opening and closing of each part of the prayer and calls for extemporaneous prayers of
thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.
Jesus Christ, mediator and high priest,
we thank you for becoming human and for experiencing
the joys and sorrows of life, which assures us that you are able
to sympathize and rejoice with us. We praise you for the many joys of life:
for the beauty of creation, especially . . .
for your work in this world . . .
for the growth of your kingdom . . .
for the greatest source of our happiness, the gift of eternal life . . .
As our mediator, you stand before God, petitioning him on our behalf, so we boldly
bring before you our prayers for
creation and its care . . .
the nations of the world . . .
our nation and its leaders . . .
this community and those in authority . . .
the church universal as it works on your behalf . . .
this local church in its ministry . . .
persons with particular needs. . . .
We pray this in your strong name, O Christ,
our mediator and high priest. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Ascended Lord, we praise you.
In your death you utterly wiped out the damning evidence
of broken laws and commandments that always hung over our heads.
You completely annulled it by nailing it over your head on the cross.
In your resurrection you gave us new life, free life, full of new possibilities.
In your ascension you paraded sin and death behind you
in your triumphal procession.
You are our guarantee of victory.
You are our guarantee because you went through everything
we struggle with and triumphed over all evil.
What you did, you promised to help us do.
You will always be with us—not merely with sympathy but also with power.
You are our guarantee because it is truly “one of us”
who now governs as ruler of time and space.
This too gives us confidence and courage for the future.
You are our guarantee because, in going away,
you released the Spirit on us.
You are not distant from us but closer to us than ever before.
The current of the Spirit works over and through us endlessly.
It seeps and trickles into all the depths of heart and mind and will
so that truly we are like trees planted by water.
We bear fruit in season, our leaves do not wither,
and all that we do turns out well.
We bring our hopes, our needs, our desires to you.
We are confident of access because you are “one of us.”
We are confident of answers because you are the ruler of the universe.
Yours is the name above every other name,
the name before which every knee bows and every tongue confesses,
“You are Lord,” to the glory of God.
Hear our prayers and accept our praises.
May they rise like sweet-smelling incense before you
from lives that are like altars set ablaze by the fire of the Spirit. Amen.
—based on Psalm 1:3; Ephesians 2:5-6; Colossians 2:12-15; Philippians 2:10-11
[Reformed Worship 15:34]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Ascended Christ,
how grateful we are that you ever live to pray for us,
even now at God’s right hand.
We pray to you as Lord, and with you to the Father:
Hallowed be your name.
May your kingdom come.
May your will be done.
May all people have bread to nourish body and soul.
May your people walk in the way of forgiveness
and stand firm in the time of trial.
May you, with the Father and the Spirit, receive all the glory. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

People of God, go now in peace, knowing that
if we suffer with Christ, we shall also rejoice with him;
if we die with Christ, we shall also rise with him.
Go in peace, letting your old self die with Christ,
and your new self, glorious with purpose and strength,
prepare for the great day of our ascended Lord’s return.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The following is a guide for extemporaneous prayers. The pattern provides a suggested text
for the opening and closing of each part of the prayer and calls for extemporaneous prayers of
thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.
Sovereign King,
we praise you for your just and righteous reign over the cosmos:
for the order you give to creation . . .
for your sovereign rule over the nations . . .
for your faithfulness to your church . . .
for your lordship in our lives . . .
You are at once King and servant, willing to give your life
and caring even for what we might count as insignificant.
So we approach your throne knowing you will listen to our prayers
for creation and its care . . .
for the nations of the world . . .
for our nation and its leaders . . .
for this community and those who are in authority . . .
for the church universal as it works on your behalf . . .
for this local church in its ministry . . .
for persons with particular needs . . .
We pray in your name, O Christ, our sovereign servant King. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Tune Information

Name
UNSER HERRSHER
Key
B♭ Major
Meter
8.7.8.7.7.7
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