The Sunday after Ascension Day

The Collect

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Acts 16:16-34

As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

Psalm 68:1-20

Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; * let those who hate him also flee before him.

As the smoke vanishes, so shall you drive them away; * and as wax melts before the fire, so let the ungodly perish before the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; * let them also be merry and joyful.

O sing unto God, and sing praises unto his Name; magnify him who rides upon the heavens. * The Lord is his Name; rejoice before him.

He is a father of the fatherless and defends the cause of the widows, * God in his holy habitation.

He is the God who gives the solitary a home, and brings the prisoners out of captivity, * but lets the rebellious dwell in a desert land.

O God, when you went forth before the people, * when you went through the wilderness,

The earth shook, and the heavens poured forth rain at the presence of God, * even as Sinai also was moved at the presence of God, who is the God of Israel.

You, O God, sent a gracious rain upon your inheritance * and refreshed the land when it was weary.

Your congregation found a dwelling there, * for you, O God, of your goodness have provided for the poor.

The Lord gave the word; * great was the company of those who proclaimed the tidings.

Kings with their armies fled, they fled, * and the women at home divided the spoil.

Though you have lain among the sheepfolds, * yet shall you be like the wings of a dove that are covered with silver, and whose feathers shine like gold.

When the Almighty scattered kings, * it was as if it snowed in Zalmon.

As the hill of Bashan, so is God’s hill, * even a high hill, as the hill of Bashan.

Why look with envy, you high hills? This is God’s hill, on which it pleases him to dwell; * surely, the Lord will abide on it for ever.

The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels, * and the Lord has come from Sinai into the holy place.

You have gone up on high; you have led captivity captive, and received gifts from men, * even from your enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them.

Praised be the Lord daily, * even the God who helps us and pours his benefits upon us.

He is our God, the God from whom salvation comes; * God is the Lord, by whom we escape death.

+Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end.  Amen. 

Revelation 22:10-21

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

John 17:20-26

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Artwork: the painting dates to c. 1860 and appears outside the Basilica of St. Paul in Rome.