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Ascension Sunday: What Will We Lift Up?

by Joe Scarry

As a reminder — our permit to assemble for worship in Palmer Square was pulled earlier this week because of the NATO summit.  Therefore, we’re gathering on the green space at Kimball Avenue Church’s property at Kimball and Medill at 10:30am on Sunday, May 20th.

This year on Palm Sunday, St. Luke’s joined with other Logan Square congregations to “take our faith public” and participate in an event that emphasized our shared commitment to feeding the hungry, providing shelter to everyone, assuring health care for all, and providing security and dignity for immigrants. (Read more about Occupy Palm Sunday!)

On Ascension Sunday, May 20, we will join again with others from Logan Square to “take our faith public” — this time for an open air worship on the theme of peacemaking.

Proclaim It to All Nations!

Ascension Sunday is a day when we proclaim Jesus’ glorification, through his ascension to heaven and his admonition to the disciples to be “witnesses to all the nations.” (Luke 24:44-53)

It is a day to think about who Jesus is, who we are, and what this causes us to do with our lives.  We will be thinking about what it means to make our primary allegiance higher than any single city, state, or country.  We will be thinking about how being followers of Christ includes a call to be witnesses.  And we will be thinking about how the fact that we are “in the world” means we need to roll our sleeves up and get our hands dirty — to involve ourselves with the problems of sin and the promise of repentance and forgiveness.

What Will We Lift Up?

When you stop to think about it, our lives are a continuous act of witness — we are always lifting something or other up as the thing we believe in, pledge allegiance to, and care about.

We can think of our witness as an act of “lifting up” Christ to the world, an echo of Christ’s lifting up at the Ascension. And we become aware that through Christ’s lifting up, we ourselves are lifted up.

When we lift Christ up to the wider world — including lifting Christ up to people for whom our traditions and vocabulary are unfamiliar — what does it look like?

Waging Peace

One way to lift up Christ is to lift up peace. This year Ascension Sunday coincides with the NATO summit in Chicago.  At St. Luke’s, we have been working over a period of weeks to learn more about NATO and understand how people of faith understand the role of NATO. Thus, it is particularly appropriate that we address ourselves to the challenge of “taking our faith public” and lifting up peace on this day.

Can we lift up peace to a world weary of war? Each of us is called to engage in peacemaking — and we each find particular ways to do it.  On May 20, some members of our congregations will follow the cross out at the end of worship to proclaim a message about peace during the protests at the NATO summit in downtown Chicago. Other members will be engaging with the events in Chicago in other ways.  Still others will focus their peacemaking efforts at other times and in other places.

Join us for shared worship with members of Kimball Avenue Evangelical Church, Humboldt Park United Methodist Church, and First Lutheran Church on Sunday, May 20 at 10:30 a.m. at Kimball Avenue Church (Kimball and Medill).

Visit our event Facebook page to learn more about this event.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square is located at 2649 N. Francisco Ave, Chicago, IL, 60647

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  1. Pingback: Art at St. Luke’s: Windows Into the Experience of Others « The Messenger

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