Sometimes saying goodbye can feel hard to do. Particularly in the context of parting or moving on, or more poignantly at the end of life. It reminds us that our stay in any one place is temporary and often involves goodbyes.
This week we mark the occasions of Jesus’ ascension back into heaven. Jesus had told the disciples about this but it seems they didn’t understand what was going to happen or what it all meant. Even with the hindsight of a couple of millennia of church history this event remains mysterious for many.
Essentially Ascension Day is the bridge between Easter and Pentecost. With Jesus’s triumph over sin and death his work on earth is done. The disciples were commissioned to continue his work and were promised the Holy Spirit to be the presence of God in them, inspiring and empowering them to minister just like Jesus did.
Today the Church, you and me, are called to carry that ministry on.
The disciples were troubled when Jesus talked about leaving, and it was only later they realised that the presence of Jesus was still with them through the work of the Holy Spirit. So not a goodbye, more ‘À bientôt’ – see you soon/again.
God of heaven,
In the goodbyes in life that sadden our hearts
may we know the constancy of your never-failing presence.
Open our eyes to see you at work in and through us
as we share the good news of your enduring love.
Through Christ, our risen and ascended Lord. Amen.
All welcome at our Ascension Day Service – 7pm on Thursday 26 May.