UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
News from St Andrew’s
Craig’s letter of 13 May
Revd Craig Bowman
This week sees the Feast of the Ascension marked in many churches. In our tradition Ascension Day has not always figured highly, falling as it does on a Thursday. Last year we offered a short reflective recorded service but have chosen not to do that this year which leaves the question of whether to address the Ascension on Sunday or follow the usual Sunday Lectionary readings. The Sunday readings include more of Jesus’ farewell discourse from John’s Gospel and the appointment of a successor to Judas from the first chapter of Acts. The latter introduces an interesting way of selecting church leaders that is used by some churches today, although I’m not sure how it would be viewed in our church. However that is something which we might explore on another occasion as I have decided that we will mark the Ascension of Jesus on Sunday.
The Ascension is not something we should treat lightly because it marks a significant change in the relationship of Christ with his followers and friends, as his bodily presence will now forever be absent. Those who lose a loved one through death can be acutely aware of the disorientation, frustration and pain that comes from not having someone’s physical presence around. In this past year even those who have not lost someone to death have been confronted by the challenge of missing the physical presence of loved ones and friends. During this time we have looked for other ways to keep connected with others but for many, despite increased phone calls, letters, emails and video meetings, there has always been something significant missing. Jesus’ followers are about to lose the physical presence of their leader permanently and on Sunday we shall consider their reaction and the promise it holds out for them and for us as we look forward to the following week when we shall celebrate Pentecost.
We shall again be meeting for worship in St Andrew’s at 10.30am. This service will be streamed live on the St Andrew’s YouTube channel. The audio version of the service will be available from 10.30am via the church website or by calling 020 3870 2810.
This week as we take time to worship God and acknowledge Christ’s eternal place in creation and in our lives may it lead into a deeper understanding of our role in God’s future.
Posted on 13 May 2021