Weekly update – 12th May 2024

On Thursday it was Ascension Day – the time that we ‘celebrate’ Jesus finally returning to be with God in Heaven, in other words when he ascended (went up). Unlike Jesus’s resurrection, which happened without any witnesses his Ascension was witnessed by at least the main 11 disciples if not others in the ‘inner circle’. After at least 7 recorded appearances (which I listed last month!), Jesus asks his disciples to meet him on a hill outside Jerusalem – this is the only pre-arranged resurrection appearance and the disciples must have wondered what would happen this time!  They weren’t disappointed, Jesus spent time talking to them giving them instructions that they were to remain in Jerusalem together and he would send them a gift to help them, a gift to that would enable them to  fufil his last request of them – to be witnesses to his story and to go and make disciples!


“ Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this I  am with you always, even to the end of the age.”   Matthew 28:18-20


That Great Commission of Jesus, is something that we are all called to do today, 2000 years later and that is what makes Ascension Day so important. The 10 day period between Ascension Day and Pentecost (when the Holy Spirit arrived) is a time when we can fulfil the Great Commission in a very private personal way. In 2016 Archbishop Justin and the then Archbishop of York, John Sentamu , encouraged all parishes in the Church of England to pray for people to come to know the love of Jesus Christ. This has since become the successful “Thy Kingdom Come” campaign where we are encouraged to think of 5 people over those 10 days  and pray for them to come to know Jesus. We have copies of the Prayer booklet (see picture) for this year at the back of church so please come and take one to help you with your prayers for your chosen people. It is a humbling feeling to see people who you love and care for come to faith and start wanting to know more about how Jesus can change their lives and to think that this can be achieved by the power of prayer!


‘Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, star-strewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever. Daniel12:3