EASTER 7 Ascentiontide
The controversial American bishop, John Spong, once pointed out that if Jesus ascended physically into the sky, and if he rose as rapidly as the speed of light (186,000 miles per second) he would not yet have reached the edges of our own galaxy.
On Thursday we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension, the day the church remembers the story of the risen Christ ascending into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. In the early years of the church the Feast of the Ascension and the Feast of Pentecost where joined. They were separated for reasons no longer remembered sometime during the fourth century in Constantinople.
As we prepare for the Feast of Pentecost next Sunday, the Church’s celebration of the outpouring of God’s Spirit in the world, everyone is invited to send a message of hope, a picture or a text, to be fixed to the closed doors of St Peter’s to inspire passers-by.
Please send a picture or a text/voicemail in any language by Tuesday to be printed on waterproof paper and displayed on the closed doors of the church. It would be lovely to reflect the many languages spoken in the neighbourhood.
As we approach the end of our fifty day Eastertide journey, you will find a meditation on the Stations of the Resurrection to help look back over the past weeks and take in all the appearances of the risen Lord.
Clergy are being advised that public worship will not resume in London until we can be confident that it will be safe to do so. It is expected this will take some time. St Peter’s Worship Team will be working out new ways to keep everyone connected and to celebrate our diverse expressions of faith and spirituality. We will continue to signpost worship resources in other places – do share your own ‘top picks’.
St Paul’s Cathedral has this week launched an excellent new website exclusively for their worship resources and produced its first virtual evensong for the Feast of the Ascension. A rich feast can be found here .
The cathedral has also been busy working on Remember Me, an Online Memorial Book for those who have died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following a suggestion from the Bishop of London, the Book offers an online space where anyone in the United Kingdom, from whatever faith or community, can leave the name, a short message and a photograph of their loved one, a place of shared memory for all who are grieving at this time. Churches are encouraging people of all faiths and none who have lost loved ones to contribute – for more information see www.rememberme2020.uk
As the disciples waited for Pentecost, the coming of this strange power Jesus had spoken of so urgently in the days before his death, so we wait for God’s power to release us into a new world.
Huddling in our homes, let us hold on to the words waving on banners from balconies in Italy tutto andra bene, all will be well…
With my blessings,
Home Worship, with prayers, hymns and readings for Sunday, May 24 is here.