Marking Ascension Day
01 May 2019 IN: Bishop
Easter fell late in the year of my birth. In consequence I was born, at the end of May 1957, on Ascension Day. Sixty two years later, 2019 is the first time since that my birthday has been on this particular feast. So I can't help but reflect on Ascension this month. Being exactly forty days after Easter, the day always falls on a Thursday, and in consequence is often poorly marked in our churches. But it really matters to our faith, because it signals the end of one particular relationship between Jesus and his disciples and prepares them for a new one.
From this moment on, that motley group of women and men, still coming to terms with the momentous events of the previous few weeks, have to take primary place in furthering the good news of Jesus. Theirs will be the hands and feet that work for his kingdom, theirs the voices that need to tell others about the purposeful life he offers to all who follow him. God's Holy Spirit will guide and sustain them, but they will have to take the lead.
This year, we are once again marking the season between Ascension Day and Pentecost by taking part in Thy Kingdom Come. First launched by our archbishops a few years ago, this initiative has grown exponentially, catching the imagination of huge numbers of church people across Britain and beyond. For these ten days we are invited and encouraged to act and pray for more people to come to know the love of Jesus Christ in their lives. Please look to see what your local parish or church are doing, and join in. The more of us who take part, the happier my birthday will be!