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From the President, East District – Welcome Home!

June 18, 2018 No Comment

By Paul Zabel

Rev. Paul Zabel

“After [Jesus] said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.” (Acts 1:9)

Even though I have four children, all with their own children (my grandchildren) and all with their own homes, whenever any or all of them pile into the home in which my wife Judy and I live, I still think of them as “coming home.” I know how my own dad and mom felt whenever my three sisters or I returned with our families for a visit

to our parents. I can still hear my father’s words echoing in my ears: “Welcome home, son!” These thoughts flashed into my mind when we Christians recently celebrated our Lord’s Ascension into heaven.

What thoughts or pictures form in your mind when you read or hear the Holy Scripture’s accounts of our Lord Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Perhaps you’ve seen paintings of Christ’s ascension: the perplexed disciples on the hilltop looking at a cloud, two angels in white robes standing beside them. Imagine the scene and the homecoming that must have taken place beyond that cloud and out of the sight of the disciples who were witnesses to our Lord’s ascension into heaven.

All the victory parades that have ever taken place in the history of our world for all the conquering armies and military leaders following the end of any of the great wars cannot be compared to the welcome Jesus received upon His return into heaven. Countless angels must have sung a tumultuous symphony of praise containing the words: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12).

How God the Father’s eyes must have overflowed with tears of love as He welcomed His Son, our Lord Jesus, home with the words He had spoken at His Baptism, “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22).

Because of Jesus, we look forward to our own glorious homecoming. Clothed in the righteousness Jesus won for us on Calvary, we will be judged holy when He comes again on the Last Day. We will be caught up and taken into heaven, where the Father will look at us and see only Jesus’ righteousness.

“Welcome home, son and daughter,” He will say. “With you I am well pleased!”

How can we not but thank our Lord Jesus for the life He lived and the suffering and death on the cross He endured, to pay the price for all of our sins and to make us children of the heavenly Father!

Rev. Paul Zabel is president of Lutheran Church–Canada’s East District

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