Ascending to the Throne
Luke 24 Acts 1:1-12 Zechariah 14:4 Revelation 21 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Dawn had not yet broken as we stood on the silent Stonehouse railway station in Gloucestershire awaiting the arrival of the steam train on its way to Carlisle. When the Guard told us the train had been delayed by an hour our hearts sank at the prospect of so long a wait. This wonderful day trip in late February several years ago was a gift to celebrate my birthday. I had looked forward to it like a child awaiting Christmas!
As the minutes slowly ticked by, the silence was startlingly broken by the most beautiful birdsong we had ever heard. The notes rang out with an amazing range of continuous sounds into the darkness. We couldn’t see where this beautiful melody was coming from but I began to realise we were listening to a Skylark singing from wherever it had perched. Gradually others joined it in a grand chorus that ascended into the early morning sky. That morning we discovered that these little Larks who are renowned for singing as they ascend to the skies can sing as gloriously from the ground as they do from the sky. The late poet and TV presenter, Ted Hughes once said “they will carry those tongues as gladly perched on a rock as they will chirruping from the heavens.”
Turning my thoughts to what it means to ‘Ascend to the Throne’ I remembered the disciples at Bethany,
“And Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, whilst He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.” (Luke 24:50-53)
Luke also records Jesus’ ascension in Acts 1:9-12 and we might question whether Jesus ascended from Bethany or Mount Olivet (Mount of Olives). However, the map shows us that Bethany is situated on the Eastern slope of the Mount of Olives and even more interesting is the belief that the New Jerusalem will descend to this very spot – as foretold in Zechariah 14:4.
As I pondered all these things I remembered that on the day when Jesus returns, all the lands will gather and those who have died in Christ will rise first, whilst believers who are still living will ‘ascend’ to meet Him in the air. What a wonderful day that will be!
It is good to remember that “Ascending to the Throne room of God” is not limited to time, location or circumstance. The Lark teaches us so much about worship of our great Creator who invites us to call Him Abba, Father. The Lark sings as beautifully on a dark cold February morning as it sings whilst ascending vertically to the heavens on a beautiful warm sunny day. Oh that our hearts would continue to sing as earnestly in the dark winter of our lives as it does when circumstances cause us to rise to the mountain top in mid summer, then I believe we will ascend to the Throne room of our wonderful God at any moment we turn to Him, either alone in our room, or among a crowd of worshippers.
PRAYER: Abba Father, Creator of all, may our prayers ascend to Your Throne of grace as sweetly as the song of the Lark as it rises out of the cold morning mist. Precious Jesus, thank You for visiting earth in human form and for dying on Calvary to secure our salvation. We rejoice to know that you rose again and ascended to Heaven where You sat down at the right hand of Your Father who has become our Father too. Thank You for sending Holy Spirit to help and guide us into Your paths of righteousness and for prompting and convicting us whenever we are tempted or fall. How greatly I love to ascend to Your Throne room in private or corporate worship and to fall before You in awestruck wonder. But for now we see You through a glass darkly, but one glorious day we will see You face to face.