First Lesson: Acts 1: 1-11
Responsive Reading: Psalm 47
Second Lesson: Ephesians 1: 15-23
Gospel Lesson: Luke 24: 44-53
Grace and Peace from Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Jarred and Chase,
As you may know, there are three types of students in school.
The first students out there are “A” students. A students always have a book. A students tend to stay up late night studying. A students use Red Bull as a study aide. A students stress out whenever they get a “B-plus” on a test. A students are always going through life taking careful notes of what other people think and say. A students don’t mind bringing their teacher an apple. A students put all sorts of pressure on themselves. A students tend only to see the world through the lens of achievements and awards. We assume that we should want to be like the A-students.
The second type of students out there is “C” students. C students are always often the life of the party. C students are more concerned with the latest Three Days of Grace album than books. C students don’t quite bring the Nick like Jeopardy intensity to life. For C students success in school is not defined so much by grades but rather how many different girls you can meet. C students just want to get by in school, and they’re all chill after that.
The final type of students is “F” students. No one wants to be an F student. F is synonymous with failure. We never want F’s on our permanent record or so the saying goes. F students seem to be on the road to a dead end in life.
The question for this morning is should you strive to be an “A” student, “C” student or an “F” student. I’ll get back to this question in a little bit.
Today’s Gospel lesson comes to us from Luke 24. Our tale for today is the story of the conclusion of Jesus’ ministry with his ascension into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the father. Today’s lessons has the Disciples needing to head out into the world alone apart from everything they had learned in the past few years. The Disciples are now called to be witnesses to Christ’s ministry in the world that surrounds them.
So I want to reflect upon lessons that can we take from this event in Jesus’ ministry.
As you go forward from this day, I should reflect upon the question of how a Christian’s life should look even after Confirmation. You might assume the answer that I might give is to go through life seeking to become a straight “A” religious student so that maybe you could be a Pastor some day.
You might assume that I’m going to get and lay a bunch of rules upon you: Don’t drink too much, don’t smoke, don’t gamble too much, don’t have too much fun with Girls, don’t shoot Heroin at night clubs in Winnipeg. Although I don’t want you to think of Christianity as merely a series of “no’s” or “do this” or “don’t do this?”
“Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.”-1ST Corinthians 7:17.
The whole of the Christian’s life instead should be centered upon living one’s vocations out within the world around them.
A Christian’s vocation is seeking to be the best husband, best father, best son, best worker, best student, best friend, best hockey player, best whatever that you can be. A Christian’s life is always centered on being the best neighbor to everyone whom you come into contact.
When you play Hockey, you should check “hard”, but always check “clean.”
When you meet a young woman, there’s nothing wrong with finding her pretty as long as you see her as much more than that. Remember that whatever young lady you meet may be destined to someone else’s wife or mother regardless of the role that she may be destined to play in your life.
When you hang with friends, there is nothing wrong with having a lot of “fun” as long as you watch out for your own well-being and the well-being of others.
God might be calling you on this day to the seemingly ordinary rather then the extraordinary. To illustrate what this means: I came across a great quote this week that said “David didn’t kill Goliath because he sought to slay giants. He set out to give sandwiches to his brothers and Goliath got in the way.”
This quote begins to explain what might living out this Christian life look like in more practical terms?
“The World needs more Elk-Hunters.” –Roy Harrisville.
The world needs men of courage and conviction. The world needs men who are bold enough to stand apart from the crowd.
One of the manliest men to every live was President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was a sick child, asthmatic, and near-sighted. Roosevelt didn’t look at his difficulties though as defeating him, Roosevelt rather saw his obstacles as motivating. Roosevelt began boxing and lifting. Roosevelt would hike mountains in all kinds of nasty weather. Roosevelt sense of vocation took him to Harvard where he joined the rowing team. When Roosevelt was told to take a boring desk job because of his health, he decided to hike the Matterhorn and work as a North Dakota rancher. One time while campaigning for President and riding a train. A man shot Teddy Roosevelt in the chest. Roosevelt’s response was to check his mouth merely to make sure there was no blood. Roosevelt figured the bullet hadn’t struck his lung, so he needed to keep going. Roosevelt proceeded then to stand before an auditorium with 10,000 people proclaiming himself stronger than a “bull moose” as he spoke for 90 minutes before finally agreeing to go to the Hospital.
Roosevelt’s life philosophy was best summed up in his “Man in the Arena” speech where he points out:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Jarred and Chase, my goal for you today is not that you become the world’s greatest preachers. Perhaps your course in life is to twenty years from today become preachers with Steph Curry like three-point skills. Being a Pastor is not everyone’s course in life though. Instead, I want you rather to become Elk Hunters. Become the type of men who are unafraid to wrestle bears in your underwear. Become the type of men that those who come after will admire and look to as role models no matter what course God leads you down in life.
To do what I’m asking you to today is going to include a challenge to live life differently. Do not obsess your life with the thoughts or opinions of others. Because in the words of the wise philosopher Taylor Swift “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate!”
One of the more famous Bible stories is the tale of Samson. Samson was one of the last judges to help rule over Israel. Samson was known for his long hair and incredible feats of strength such as defeating a lion with his bare hands. Samson might was such that he was able to bring down a giant temple with it. Samson stepped into an often dark world with temptation around every bend. Samson did have times in his life when everything went amiss. These stumbles were never easy. Through it all, Samson had a God, who never left his side in waging all of life’s battles.
As in the case of Samson living out a Christian’s vocation is not easy. Vocation is fighting every instinct in a given moment not to unload every nasty word about your neighbor of which you can think. Vocation is where we fight our harshest of battles with the powers of sins.
As you go forth from this day as confirmed members of Sychar Lutheran Church, the years ahead will contain their share of challenges. The thing about this life is that progress will often seem small or non-existent within it.
I had a friend growing up named Ira. One time, Ira got frustrated with how things were going at school so he punched a brick wall as hard as he could. Ira soon came to learn via way of the cast that his way was the wrong way to view the world. Don’t punch brick walls, but instead, be patient and have faith. One morning you will wake up and everything all around you shall be changed! Resurrection will be shouting out Hallelujahs all around you!
Praise the ……….
I began this morning by asking if you want to be an A-student (an achiever), a C-student (a chiller) or an F-student (a failure). The problem you often run into with “A” students is that they’re so obsessed with the judgments of others and themselves that it eats them alive. While it’s cool to be a chiller, you don’t want to be so chill that you live your life without care, courage, or conviction. Lastly, we get to the dreaded “F” students, the ones who others might think to be failures.
The truth of life is you will have your share of F’s. The road ahead will be frustrating; you will fail. What I want to you to do on this day is think of the grade or letter “F” in a different way on this day. I want you to think of “F” as standing for forgiveness.
The ones who in our lesson today hear Jesus speak today were far from perfect individuals even as they followed him throughout the course of his ministry. In his last hours, they stood by as cowards and failures as he was led to his death. Jesus is able move past this and hands them the keys to his kingdom. The message that Jesus gives to his disciples on this day is what is meant by our vision at Sychar that “We are an imperfect church, made for imperfect people.”
The greatest of spiritual truths is you will never be as good as you want to be in this life, embrace this and remember that “F” stands for forgiveness. The focus of the Christian’s life is not following anybody else’s path to get there, but rather an end of Resurrection to New Life!
 Luke 24:44-53
 The following quote comes from the Sundries Facebook page on May 3, 2016.
 This quote came from a Friday afternoon gathering by Dr. Harrisville when I was a student at Luther Seminary.
 McKay, Brett and Kate. “Lessons in Manliness: The Childhood of Theodore Roosevelt”. Art of Manliness. 04. Feb.2008. Web. May.3.2016
 McKay, Brett and Kate. “Lessons in Manliness: The Childhood of Theodore Roosevelt”
 McKay, Brett and Kate. “Lessons in Manliness: Theodore Roosvelt on Living the Strenous Life”. Art of Manliness. 21. Feb. 2008. Web. May. 3.2016.
 McKay, Brett and Kate. “Lessons in Manliness: Theodore Roosvelt on Living the Strenous Life”.
 The following is an except from Roosevelt, Theodore. “Citizenship in a Republic”. Given at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23rd, 1910. I was referred to this speech by Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly.
 Judge 13-16.
 Tranvik, Mark. “Commentary on Luke 24:44-53”. Working Preacher. Luther Seminary. Saint Paul, MN. 12. May.2013. Web. May.3.2013.