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church:vicars_letters:jun2013mag [d/m/Y H:M] (current)
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 +====== Ascension Day: ======
 +  ​
 +We recently celebrated Ascension Day so I thought I’d say a few words about the meaning of this rather strange Christian Festival.
 +Acts chapter 1 tells us that, after the Resurrection,​ Jesus appeared many times to his followers before joining them on a hillside overlooking the Lake of Galilee, where he was physically taken up into Heaven in/on a cloud. ​  ​Having spent forty days visiting his friends, why should he then leave them, why not continue to support and encourage them as he had been doing?
 +Jesus’ friends were ordinary, working people, male and female, and the Gospels repeatedly tells us how human, blinkered and mistaken they were whenever Jesus tried to explain the true nature of his mission to them; he was a suffering servant and they wanted a warrior king.   They kept getting it wrong. ​  
 +Yet when Jesus sent them out, 70 of them in pairs (Luke chapter 10), they came back amazed at what they were able to achieve....”Lord even the demons are subject to us in your name!” they exclaimed. ​  When Jesus is beside them, they rely on him; away from him they have to act by themselves, yet acting in his name they achieve great things. ​  ​Further evidence of this is given in the early chapters of Acts where we see Peter, a fisherman, plain, straightforward and open, who after Jesus’ arrest denied his Lord three times but soon became the Rock upon which the Church is founded, curing, healing, raising from the dead and speaking with absolute conviction to the hostile council of religious leaders.
 +Jesus was taken up into Heaven so that - in his name - we learn to stand on our own two feet (Teresa of Avila said “He has no feet but ours, no hands but ours”) and achieve the great things he would have us do.   But he has not left us, by sending the Holy Spirit part of him strengths and encourages us, individually and collectively,​ so that we are all the rocks upon which his church is founded.
 +Jesus said, “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” ​ (Acts 1.8)
 +So go in peace, to love and serve the Lord - in the name of Christ, Amen.
church/vicars_letters/jun2013mag.txt · Last modified: d/m/Y H:M (external edit)