It hardly seems six weeks since we celebrated our Lord’s resurrection, but here we are approaching Ascension Day on Thursday. You might think that the disciples would have been saddened, but far from it, they were empowered to go out into their communities, their streets and villages to proclaim the good news of God’s action in this man Jesus Christ. During his sermon on Sunday morning Malcolm reminded us of our responsibility to make this good news known afresh to every generation. Not just ideas, but the practical reality of relationship and encounter. Knowing that this is a mighty task Jesus did not abandon us but sent the Holy Spirit to equip us with all the necessary tools. An essential component of this equipping is prayer, our communication with God. Good relationships need good communication, good listing and talking are essential. This year the Archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging all Christians of what ever tradition, to engage in a ten day prayer initiative, from Ascension Day till Pentecost. The Archbishop says ” Jesus prayed at the Last Supper that we, those who follow him, might ‘be one that the world might believe’. We are invited to make a lasting difference in our nations and our world, by responding to his call to find a deep unity of purpose in prayer.” Follow the Archbishop on his website for more information. Do come along to our Ascension Day Mass at 8pm this Thursday and remember our prayer ministry initiative. If you feel called to offer prayer for others join us for a training session on Tuesday 30th May.
With my prayers
I am sure you will all be aware of the appalling bombing attack in Manchester last evening. There are no words available to describe our disgust, targeting teenage children in this manner. True to form the people of Manchester ran towards the danger to help. I will be sending an email to the Dean and Bishop of Manchester offering our thoughts and prayers.
I am sorry if those of you who have emailed me over the past ten days have not received a reply as soon as you might have wished, but have received instead my ‘out of office’ message. I have been taking my post-Easter break. We can recall that Jesus said to his disciples ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile’. For many were coming and going and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:31).
Gerald and I have been on holiday in Cyprus, staying in both the north and south of this fascinating country. Not only have the good weather, good food and wine, and comfortable surroundings enabled us to relax, but we have found it a fascinating place to explore. We have been able to track the missionary travels of St Paul and St Barnabas, and also to learn about the history of the island dating back to around 8000 B.C. This is a country that is well worth exploring if you are fortunate enough to have the chance to do so.
With every blessing