We now live in a world where any information is available to us and world events crash into our consciousness with graphic imagery. Access to the internet or a smartphone means it is impossible to insulate ourselves from this.
We watch leaders come and go. It was Enoch Powell who said  “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.” In the last year we have seen David Cameron resign, President Obama hand over to Donald Trump and President Hollande not even standing for re-election.
We are in the midst of a General Election campaign
And this week we have had the tragedy of Manchester
This is some of the present day background to our celebration of this years Ascension Day.
A world in which we are pummelled by newsflow.
Ascension Day has come at a very good time.
Because Ascension Day has a big message for us.
Its’s a major feast day along with Christmas, Good Friday, Easter Day and Pentecost.
Its importance so great, or was so great, that for virtually every European country – except us - it remains a public holiday; once again we are out of step with our European neighbours!
It is of supreme importance and for many reasons. Tonight I’d like us to consider three
1.     It’s the Coronation of Jesus.
2.     It reminds us of the incarnate nature of our Lord
3.     It prepares us the disciples and therefore us, for the gift of the Holy Spirit
And putting all this together reminds us that the Creator God transcends us mere mortals, transcends our leaders and transcends those evil people who seek to kill and maim.
The Ascension gives us hope and life, and when we are pummelled by news and information and feel overwhelmed, we can look to Jesus, sitting at the right hand of God and ask the Holy Spirit to come and fortify us to live out the loving purposes of God.
The Coronation of Jesus
It’s foretold by the prophet Daniel. We heard it tonight.
To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.
Each week in the Creed we say “He is seated on the Right hand of God. Jesus’ earthly work was done.
With reference to Enoch Powell. This was not a life that ended in failure. So different from our earthly leaders.
Jesus is different – totally different.
Rowan Williams puts it like this:
We don’t grasp the fact that he isn’t just one thing among others, one person among others.  We miss out on the great truth that he is within and beyond all things, mysteriously holding everything together.

This is the reality of the exaltation and coronation of Jesus

The incarnation
Jesus fully human and fully divine.
Lancelot Andrews preaching before King James explained the mystery of the incarnation thus “The Son of God for love of our fallen race didst most wonderfully and humbly chose to be made man, as never to be unmade more, and to take our nature, as never more to lay it off.”
Jesus took on our nature and dwelt among us. Having been raised from the dead, yet being fully God yet fully human, I do not see it is possible for him to have an ordinary human second death.
He said, according to John, “I go to prepare a way for you.”
To do this, yet not to die, yet to be no more visibly present on earth, it seems to me the Ascension is entirely logical.
Also In the best tradition of succession planning, he could not hang around on this earth if his disciples were going to fully grasp his divinity and become less dependent on his leadership. For them to take forward the message of good news, with Jesus no longer beside them, they would need support and courage of a type that had not been recognised before.
This is the gift of the Holy Spirit
Preparation of the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples and to us
And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’

The gift of the Holy Spirit is a reminder that God and Jesus are present in the world.
And this is amazingly good news in a world where a minority of people and events makes the news that pummels our daily lives.
We need to remind ourselves that God saw the world and it was good. That is how God wants the world to be. The world is good. And thankfully there are millions more people who seek to live lives that are good and show compassion and love to their neighbours.
The Ascension is as celebration of the primacy and triumph of Jesus.
The Ascension opens the gate for the unleashing of the Holy Spirit and the gift of the church.
The Ascension reminds of us the love of God for his Son who has prepared a place for us.

The Ascension is key to our knowledge that fortified by the Holy Spirit, we are able to leave St. Georges tonight in peace and to love and serve the Lord