Seventh Sunday of Easter - Sunday after Ascension

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.

First Lesson: Ezekiel 39:21-29
"I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them. From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God. And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them."

Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD."

Second Lesson: Acts 1(1-7)8-14
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"

He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Psalm: 68:1-20

  1. Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; *
    let those who hate him flee before him.
  2. Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *
    as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at
    the presence of God.
  3. But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *
    let them also be merry and joyful.
  4. Sing to God, sing praises to his Name;
    exalt him who rides upon the heavens; *
    YAHWEH is his Name, rejoice before him!
  5. Father of orphans, defender of widows, *
    God in his holy habitation!
  6. God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners
    into freedom; *
    but the rebels shall live in dry places.
  7. O God, when you went forth before your people, *
    when you marched through the wilderness,
  8. The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain,
    at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *
    at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
  9. You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *
    you refreshed the land when it was weary.
  10. Your people found their home in it; *
    in your goodness, O God, you have made provision
    for the poor.
  11. The Lord gave the word; *
    great was the company of women who bore the tidings:
  12. "Kings with their armies are fleeing away; *
    the women at home are dividing the spoils."
  13. Though you lingered among the sheepfolds, *
    you shall be like a dove whose wings are covered with silver,
    whose feathers are like green gold.
  14. When the Almighty scattered kings, *
    it was like snow falling in Zalmon.
  15. O mighty mountain, O hill of Bashan! *
    O rugged mountain, O hill of Bashan!
  16. Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountain,
    at the hill which God chose for his resting place? *
    truly, the LORD will dwell there for ever.
  17. The chariots of God are twenty thousand,
    even thousands of thousands; *
    the Lord comes in holiness from Sinai.
  18. You have gone up on high and led captivity captive;
    you have received gifts even from your enemies, *
    that the LORD God might dwell among them.
  19. Blessed be the Lord day by day, *
    the God of our salvation, who bears our burdens.
  20. He is our God, the God of our salvation; *
    God is the LORD, by whom we escape death.

Gospel: John 17:1-11
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

"Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one."

Collect & Psalm from the Book of Common Prayer
Other excerpts from the New International Bible

Sts. Vidicon & Isidore