Today, we observe Ascension Sunday, perhaps the most neglected of the “five evangelical feasts” which are celebrated in most Christian traditions (along with Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, and Pentecost). This day marks the commemoration of the events of Acts 1:6-11 when Jesus completed His earthly ministry by ascending into Heaven and sitting down at the right hand of the Father. I’d like to draw your attention to two Ascension hymns we’ll be singing this morning, A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing and O Christ, Our Hope. The former, which will open and close the service this morning, was originally a Latin text by the English monastic the Venerable Bede and will be sung to the familiar LASST UNS ERFREUEN tune. We first sang O Christ, Our Hope (also a medieval Latin text) to the LOBT GOTT IHR CHRISTEN tune during the Easter season earlier this year. While the second verse speaks eloquently of Jesus’ “cruel death” on the cross to set His people free, the following verses echo Bede’s phrase, calling Him “ascended Lord.” Lines like these should remind us that our Lord not only died for our sins and rose from the dead, but that He also ascended into Heaven. Even now, He intercedes for us from His Father’s throne “in glorious robes arrayed.” I pray that this glorious truth will bring us comfort this morning. —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Merry, Wine, Show, Performed, Women, Contempt, Master
Keystone Verse: At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him. (Esther 1:12)
Bulletin & Newsletter
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him.
13 Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times (for this was the king’s procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment, 14 the men next to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king’s face, and sat first in the kingdom): 15 “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?”
16 Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, “Not only against the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also against all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the queen’s behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt, since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ 18 This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will say the same to all the king’s officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty. 19 If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. 20 So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.” 21 This advice pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed. 22 He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people.