I heard said this week "Ascension the season where Jesus decided to work from home"! That feels like a really timely description as we enter a further time of measures to hopefully prevent a wider spread of Covid-19.
In our church story, we are now in a time between 'something happening' and 'something more to come'. We’ve had a long stretch of weeks of waiting since the resurrection, seeing glimpses of Jesus as he appeared to his friends over meals, in conversation, in the breaking and blessing of bread, and in journeying together.
Now we know something has changed: Jesus has ascended, gone to be at the Fathers right hand, and now we wait for the coming of the Spirit.
It amazes me again and again how much the story in our church calendar year is resonating with our story.
For us, something has happened, restrictions have changed slightly, and there is a promise of future change, of moving into a different phase. And yet everything is still the same.
What do we do with this 'in between' time? Please know I continue to pray for you my sisters and brothers as together we watch and wait.
The disciples devoted themselves to prayer, and so I sense that this is a season of prayer for us. We are encouraged to pray ‘thy kingdom come’ between Ascension and Pentecost, along with the whole of the Church of England. The daily prayer phone app, and service on Sunday evening are all part of this.
But when we pray "Thy Kingdom Come" I think we must acknowledge this is a prayer of expectation of change. This prayer says, God we know that Earth is not wholly how you would have it be and to be honest it’s not how we would have it be. We know that there is something more, something other, a kingdom way of living and loving, that although we see glimpses, is fuller than we experience here on earth.
And we want to participate in enabling that fuller way to be here and now, on earth as in heaven. We want your way God, not ours. Your will God, not ours.
It's a bold prayer, and of course as with most things, if we really want to pray this we can't say "your way and your will God for everyone else but not for me"!
So as we hold ourselves, our families, and our community before God, perhaps particularly over the 9 days between Ascension and Pentecost, I pray you that will know God's love for you, that you continue to have glimpses of the kingdom, and an expectation and hope for how we will emerge from this time.
With every blessing, as always
Rev Becky Waring
Vicar St Martins Knowle
Area Dean Bristol South