Lord Jesus, King of glory, on this day you ascended far above the heavens and at God’s right hand you rule the nations. Leave us not alone, we pray, but grant us the Spirit of truth that at your command and by your power we may be your witnesses in all the world; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
We recognize two things on Ascension Day -- Jesus' actual ascension into heaven, and that he is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. God's right hand is where he reveals his deliverance and salvation. Where his word and sacraments are, there God is at work to save.
Jesus' ascension also encourages us to look heavenward. It is from there that Jesus will return to take us out of this world of sorrow and all of its evils and problems. While it is not easy or fun to endure frustrations and pains in this world, they do teach us to long for the world to come which will be much better by far. Therefore, we live in this world for as long as our Lord is pleased, and we look for the life of the world to come when we will be forever free from sin, sorrow, pain, and death.
Jesus ascended to heaven to prepare a place for us there. By his word and sacraments, he prepares us for that place.