Seventh Sunday of Easter 24th May
Reading- Acts 1. 6-14
This Sunday, between Ascension and Pentecost, finds the disciples back together in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. This time, however, they are not shut away through fear of the authorities, rather they have voluntarily isolated themselves in order to spend their time in prayer.
I have no idea how big upper rooms were in houses in Jerusalem in those days but given the number of disciples that were present it must have been a bit of a squeeze. The remaining 11 disciples plus Jesus’ brothers, his mother and an unknown number of women are specifically mentioned, but there may have been even more.
Whatever the number, it must have taken some self-control not to get irritated with each other’s habits. Some might have wanted to pray silently, others loudly. Some might have wanted to sleep and others to move about. Some might have been impatient wanting to get on with Jesus’ commission to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. Others may have been more patient, knowing they could not begin until they had received the promised gift from God. Some might even have got a bit ratty with the rather imprecise – not many days from now. Sounds familiar – and we are only locked down with family or ourselves.
We, like the disciples, will emerge one day from our isolation and for some of us that day cannot come soon enough. For others, that day will be a day of fear because we will be re-entering a changed and potentially dangerous world.
What we do know, is that the world on the other side of this period of relative inactivity will be vastly different. Like for the disciples, our time of enclosure has given us time to reflect on what is important. To realise that life will not be exactly the same afterwards. To prioritise what we will do when we emerge from lockdown.
For most of us, the priority is seeing family members and close friends in person rather than just hearing their voices or looking at them on a screen. For those living alone, there is also the desire for a hug, a kiss or even just to be touched by another human being.
Our time of separation has helped us to realise what is truly important and has given us some pointers as to what we need to do when we emerge. So how will we emerge? The disciples will emerge at Pentecost next Sunday refreshed and filled with the Holy Spirit. Full of enthusiasm for building Jesus’ Church. Can we do the same? Will we also emerge in the next few weeks and months with elevated levels of enthusiasm for our Mothers’ Union family and projects?
Prayers for Thy Kingdom Come from Mary Sumner House
Draw your Church together, O God, into one great company of disciples, together following our Lord Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving him in his mission to the world, and together witnessing to his love on every continent and island. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Lord. Amen
Glory to God, whose power, at work among us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or conceive. to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Alleluia. Amen
Wave of Prayer for Mothers’ Union
Lord, we pray for the witness and work of Mothers’ Union worldwide.
Today we pray for all our members throughout the world
and for the work that they do in the name of Christ. Amen
We go with faith in Christ
who taught us to pray thy Kingdom come;
to witness of his love throughout the world. Amen
Lots of love and prayers