Locust Street Letters
By Frank Lawrence Vernon
Philadelphia: St. Mark's Church, Locust Street.
ST. MARK'S, PHILADELPHIA.
THE SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION DAY, 1937.
MY DEAR PEOPLE:
"While they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven; shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."
This-is the sum of the whole matter. "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the Father." "Our Lord Jesus Christ for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And He shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead."
"Seeing then, that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." "This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins."
We have worshipped Our Lord in the Manger. We have worshipped Our Lord on the Cross. We have worshipped Our Lord risen from the dead. Today we worship Our Lord ascended into heaven, sitting on the right hand of the Father. Today we address our prayers to Him: “O Lord, the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us. For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father."
Our Lord, our Advocate, who is most high in the glory of God the Father, ever liveth to make intercession in Heaven for us.
This same Lord, in the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood, is always with us on the Altars of His Church, to receive our worship and to hear our prayers. He who interceded on the Cross, intercedes from the Altar, the same Lord who intercedes in heaven. "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." Our knees are on the ground, for He is on the Altar. Our eyes are raised to heaven for He is enthroned in glory.
Today we are counting God's mercies, one by one, from Heaven to Bethlehem, and from Bethlehem back to Heaven. Our praises and thanksgivings are beyond our power to express adequately. "With Angels and Archangels, and all the Company of Heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name, evermore praising thee, and saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of thy glory: Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High."
While we show forth our praise with our lips, our prayer is that we may show forth our praise in our lives. We offer and present ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and living sacrifice. We humbly beseech our heavenly Father, so to assist us with His grace, that we may continue in the holy fellowship, and do all such good works as He has prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end.
Affectionately in Our Lord,