Children’s Sermon Object Lesson: Ascension of Jesus (Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:1-11)

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“Hello children of God. Have you ever traveled on an airplane? Some people get a little bit nervous about going way up in the air in this big old vehicle. I think it’s a pretty exciting experience. I mean, especially if you’re going somewhere fun, somewhere that you look forward to going, it’s pretty amazing. But there are a lot of steps that you have to go through before air travel happens, right? If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you know this, and it kind of takes a lot of patience to get through all these different things.

For instance, first you have to pack. You might have to make a list of things that you want to put in a suitcase, and you have to pack it up and make sure you’ve got all the right clothes and enough underwear and everything you need. Then maybe you have to get up really early in the morning sometimes, right? And you drive to get to the airport. Sometimes you park your car and a special shuttle will take you from the parking lot to the airport. Well, then once you get to the airport, you have to stand in line and you have to wait for the security. Maybe you’ve gone through a line kind of like this. You have to take off your shoes and empty your pockets and show them your ID. Well, maybe you don’t have to show ID, but you have to go through the line and go through the metal detector and maybe they have to WAND you around and make sure you’re not carrying anything crazy on you.

And then after that, you have to find your gate and you have to go through the airport and find where you’re supposed to board the plane. Yeah, and you have to wait even longer until they tell you it’s your turn to get on. And then you finally get on the plane and you have to buckle up and listen to all the safety announcements and flip through the little magazine that has your options for juice. And then at long last, after all of this waiting and all this wondering and all of this watching, finally the pilot does their checklist and they get everything ready and then you can feel the engine come on and then it starts taxing around the runway and then in a glorious moment of thrill and Delight, it’s a plane lifts off and goes flying into the air.

It’s very exciting, I think, when it pops up off the ground and you get higher and higher and higher. You can look out and see the ground getting further and further away and all the cars look like little tiny ants. And then you’re in the air for however long it takes to get to your exciting destination.

Well, today we’re talking about something else that went up into the air. Not an airplane, in fact, it was someone. Not just someone, it was Jesus. We talk about his Ascension. Ascension means going up, and when something ascends, it means it goes up.

Now, Jesus, after he arose from the dead, was on Earth for a little while and then he went up and ascended into heaven. But before he did that, he gave his disciples some very important instructions and also some very special promises. He explained to them that he had to go to get a place ready for them, that he was going to go to heaven and get ready for them to join him there too. He said he would come back. Well, he said he would come back soon, but we’ve realized that Jesus’ definition of soon is a little bit different than ours.

But he also gave them some important things

they needed to do. He said first they needed to wait. They had to be patient and wait because he was going to send a helper. He wasn’t just gonna leave, he was going to send his Holy Spirit, his presence, to live and dwell among them. And that Holy Spirit would give them power. Because Jesus also told his disciples, your job is to carry on the mission. Tell everyone else around you about me. Jesus told them to share his good news, to tell others the gospel, the good news of Christ and his saving work, and that they were to continue to tell other people and other people and other people until everyone, the whole world, would know who Jesus was. That was their special mission, take his word all over and to love and care for his people. But they couldn’t do it alone, they couldn’t just do it on their own power, they had to wait for that Holy Spirit power to come. So they had to be a little patient.

And when the Holy Spirit did come, he helped the disciples to do amazing things. And you know, that same thing is true for us. We have a job to do too. Our job, like the disciples, is to continue to carry on that mission, to tell the whole world about Jesus, to love and care for others, to let them see his love shining through us. And we don’t do it on our own either, we do it with the power of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit.

It takes a lot of power to get a big old airplane off the ground and into the air. It doesn’t seem possible. But it also doesn’t seem possible that we could carry on Christ’s work and do these things. But all things are possible with him, and the Holy Spirit makes that possible.

So we have to wait and get ready too. We wait, we know that Jesus will return someday, but we’re not sure when. So we have to be patient, patiently await his return. And meanwhile, we get ready, we pack up, we do his work, we carry on his mission and tell others about him. And we feel excited, just like when we’re getting ready for that plane trip and there’s all these things we have to go through, but it’s still exciting to get up in the air. It’s exciting to go on vacation or get somewhere fun. We know someday our home will be in heaven with Jesus, that he’ll return for us. Meanwhile, we don’t just watch, we patiently wait and continue his work.

After the disciples watched Jesus go up into heaven, some angels came and said, what are you doing looking up there? You’ve got work to do. Well, so do we. We’ve got work to do, and we’ve got the presence and power of Jesus to help us do it.

So why don’t we say a prayer and we can thank God for that right now. Dear God, thank you for giving us an important job to do. Help us to be patient and to know how to share your love and word with others. Thank you for your love. We love you, God, in Jesus’ name, amen.

There are a lot of great ways to share the Ascension story. Hopefully, this can give you an idea for another one. Come and join us again because we have crafts, lessons, and messages every week to bless you in your ministry, wherever and with whomever that might be. So go make some disciples. Have a great week. See you next time.”

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