I write this in the Season of Lent looking forward to Easter Sunday, I have to have articles to the editor by the 15th of each month. But it seems right to be thinking of the next time Jesus is risen after the most wonderful day of the Christian year. In the Resurrection Jesus overcomes the fear and sting of death but at the Ascension he goes to back to be with his Father.
On the 25th May we will be holding the service at Pakenham in the evening and we should be joined from churches around the Deanery as well as the Benefice. Unfortunately it’s a day that is so often overlooked by many people. I think it’s perhaps because the manufacturers haven’t quite worked out something they can sell alongside this day and there seems to be no obvious building up to this momentous event.
But Ascension Day is one of the earliest Christian festivals dating back to the year 68 AD. According to the New Testament, Jesus Christ met several times with his disciples during the 40 days after his resurrection to instruct them on how to carry out his teachings. It is on the 40th day he took them to the Mount of Olives, where they watched as he ascended to heaven. Throughout the weeks of Easter in church we will be hearing and reading about these meetings of Jesus and his disciples and the instructions left for them and us.
Ascension Day marks the end of the Easter season and occurs ten days before Pentecost. And Pentecost is a massive Birthday-the day that the church was formed where 3000 people came forward to be baptised.
Easter Sunday is the new beginning pointing forward to Ascension.
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ
to have ascended into the heavens,
so we in heart and mind may also ascend
and with him continually dwell;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
God’s blessings upon you all.
Revd David Messer