O Christ, our hope, our hearts' desire,
creation's mighty Lord,
redeemer of the fallen world,
by holy love outpoured,
by holy love outpoured:
How vast your mercy to accept
the burden of our sin,
and bow your head in cruel death
to make us clean within,
to make us clean within.
But now the bonds of death are burst,
the ransom has been paid;
you reign above at God's right hand,
in robes of light arrayed,
in robes of light arrayed.
Oh, let your mighty love prevail
to purge us of our pride,
that we may stand before your throne
by mercy purified,
by mercy purified.
All praise to you, ascended Lord;
all glory ever be
to Father, Son, and Spirit blest
through all eternity,
through all eternity!
Exclamation point! We celebrated the birth of Jesus, suffered with him in his hour of trial, and rose from the dead with him on Easter Sunday. But with his ascension, marked this past week at the end of the forty days of Easter, we are no longer next to him. We can only stand in awe with his disciples as he truly defeats death to join his Father and the Holy Spirit in heaven. Yet he never abandoned his disciples, promising them an advocate and comforter to come. We are heirs to the same promise and wait with eager longing for the blessing of that Spirit. Thanks be to God, the Father Almighty, thanks be to God, who came to this earth, thanks be to God, the Spirit eternal; thanks be to God forever.