Friday after Rogate
Scripture: St. Luke 24:50-53 (NKJV)
50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.
“And they worshiped Him…and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.”
Our Lord came to be with us as true man in a particular place and time in history. But He also ascended to heavenly glory as part of the testimony that He was indeed true God. With His incarnation He revealed Himself in flesh and blood, but after His ascension He continues to reveal Himself to us in the Word of the Gospel, the water of Baptism, as well as in the flesh and blood of His Supper. And we are taught to follow the Apostles in continuing in these holy blessings in the holy places where He gives these gifts.
On the one hand, we do not have to seek out one particular place in this large world for us to faithfully worship the Lord. We do not have to travel to unfamiliar countries with significant expense or risk. However, on the other hand, we are not given license to be lazy or careless about observing the presence of our Lord’s blessings either. One cannot faithfully argue that they are rightly praising and blessing God while sleeping in or playing golf when the rest of God’s people are gathered together around the faithful preaching and administration of His sacraments.
Our Lord reveals Himself according to His own will, and He has told us that His will is for us to remember the gifts of His divine rest in Jesus Christ at those times and places where the Church faithful observes Christ’s commands concerning preaching, teaching, and His blessed sacraments. Thanks be to God for that!
We pray: Lord God, help us to gladly hear, learn, and observe the blessings You give us in Christ through Your holy Church. In His Name. Amen.