From the Vicar's Jottings
ASCENSION DAY JOTTING!
Jesus said to HIs disciples: "You will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8)
Today is Ascension Day and we have a Service of Holy Communion in St Jude's at 7.30pm. Please join us if you can.
Ascension Day marks the return of the risen Lord Jesus Christ to His home in glory. As Jesus left His disciples it was with a challenge for them and a commitment to them.
The challenge was Jesus' call to His disciples to bear witness to Him. In the account of the Ascension in Matthew's Gospel Jesus tells His disciples to "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28v.19). They were charged with making known throughout the world the story of God's love in Jesus and to bring many to know Him.
Thankfully the disciples took up that challenge. Empowered by the Holy Spirit they took the Gospel message into the far corners of the known world. Like Jesus Himself, for many of them the cost of their obedience was paid with their own lives. But had they not been faithful in their witness to the Lord Jesus Christ we would never have come to know Him.
Today is also the beginning of the global prayer initiative "Thy Kingdom Come". During the ten days between Ascension and Pentecost we are invited to pray regularly for five people known to us who have not yet discovered the love of Jesus for them. It is a simple way to take up Jesus challenge to bring others into His Kingdom. God turned the world upside down when 11 men first took up the challenge of Jesus to be witnesses for Him. Who knows what God can do when we take seriously this invitation to pray?
But Jesus did not leave His disciples without making a remarkable commitment to them. That commitment is also recorded by Matthew. Jesus said "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age". (Matthew 28 v.20)
That commitment holds good for us today, whatever life may bring. In the Lord Jesus Christ our living, loving, eternal God walks beside us and dwells within us. That is the good news that we cannot afford to keep to ourselves.
God bless you dear friends. Judith