A week ago today we celebrated the Ascension of our Lord. There is a hymn which captures in word and music the message of this event. It was written by Charles Wesley, “Rejoice, the Lord is King.”
From 1743 to 1746, Charles Wesley and his followers were subjected to vicious attacks both verbally and physically by those who disagreed with his evangelistic sermons calling people to repentance, to change their way of life. It was during these fearful times that Wesley was inspired to write: “Jesus, the Saviour, reigns, The God of truth and love; When he had purged our stains, He took his seat above: Lift up your heart; Lift up your voice! Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!” (Hymn 392, verse 2, The Book of Common Praise, Revised 1938) Indeed by 1746 violent opposition against this itinerant preacher had fallen throughout the British Isles.
The Ascension reminds us to put our trust in Jesus who sits at God’s right hand and whose kingdom cannot fail, no matter how desperate the present moment might seem. To which, Charles Wesley would say Amen.
Bible Reading: Psalm 47; Jude vs 24-25