Ascended Victor
Ascension Day
10 May 2018
One spring I found that I had dollar weed invading my lawn. Being a fussy gardener, I immediately sought a weed killer to get rid of the dollar weed, which is a stubborn foe. The particular product I bought works by choking out the weed when it is growing best. In fact, the instructions direct you to water the lawn after applying the weed killer so that the weed grows more aggressively and dies.
 
In a sermon on the Ascension of our Lord, Leo the Great encourages us to choke out and root out the evil that abides within us because of our fallen nature. We must aggressively attack our sin and rip it out root and branch. With it we can never become cozy or welcoming. The power we have to choke out the attack of the devil is the power of the ascended Lord who has been the victor over our sin. As we live for him by attacking our sin and living in love, we mount up with Him who ascended for us.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Leo the Great
"The Lord, says, 'dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul' (1Pt 2:11). But for whom do fleshly pleasures wage war, if not for the devil, whose delight it is to fetter souls that strive after things above, with the enticements of corruptible good things, and to draw them away from those abodes from which he himself has been banished? Against his plots every believer must keep careful watch that he may crush his foe on the side whence the attack is made. And there is no more powerful weapon, dearly beloved, against the devil's wiles than kindly mercy and bounteous charity, by which every sin is either escaped or vanquished. But this lofty power is not attained until that which is opposed to it be overthrown. And what is so hostile to mercy and works of charity as avarice from the root of which spring all evils? And unless it be destroyed by lack of nourishment, there must needs grow in the ground of that heart in which this evil weed has taken root, the thorns and briers of vices rather than any seed of true goodness. Let us then, dearly-beloved, resist this pestilential evil and 'follow after love' (1Co 14:1), without which no virtue can flourish, that by this path of love whereby Christ came down to us, we too may mount up to Him, to Whom with God the Father and the Holy Spirit is honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." 

 Leo the Great, Sermons

Luke 24:44-53

Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.
(ESV)
Collect for Ascension
Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that even as we believe Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind ascend and continually dwell there with Him; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit one God now and forever. Amen.
 
For Christians all over the world who will today gather to celebrate the Ascension of our Lord, that they might see their human nature enthroned at the right hand of God

For all those attending the California-Nevada-Hawaii District Convention, that they would be safe in their travel and encouraged by the Word of God as they participate in the convention
 
For the Memorial Lutheran Church middle school trip to Austin, that they would be kept safe in their travels and learn about the State of Texas
 
For Herbert Mueller, Sr., the first vice president of the LCMS, that he might be upheld in every good deed
Art: GAROFALO  Ascension of Christ (1510-20)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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