Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 12th May 2021
You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. Acts 1. 8b-9
When I wrote to you on the day before Ascension Day last year, we were in the middle of the first complete lockdown. Churches were completely closed and there were many fewer on-line opportunities to engage with an Ascension Day service than this year. Learning the new ways of gathering as church communities whether virtually or physically has taken time. Let us be honest deep down we are often reticent to engage with the new because we want things to go back to the way they were before. I personally am so looking forward to the day when I can cut the tape that is blocking off every other pew so that the building will regain a more welcoming atmosphere.
The post-resurrection life of the disciples was similar. They experienced the complete loss of Jesus, followed by his resurrection appearances over the next forty days. Then forty days later they watch as he disappears from sight for the final time. But of course, he has not gone. He has just changed. Changed from a physical constant companion into a spiritual constant companion. To make matters even more uncomfortable, Jesus gave them a commission. That they should be his witnesses throughout the world. That his message of repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed to all nations.
They must have felt completely out of their depths being given such an enormous task without the support of their leader. Despite this sense of trepidation, the disciples managed tremendously well in their task. Each of us is a living witness to their success. We have come to know the person and mission of Jesus Christ because of the willingness of those eyewitnesses to carry out their mission. But the mission does not finish there. We too are tasked with passing on the knowledge of Jesus Christ to all those we encounter.
Just like the disciples, we are not left to undertake this task on our own. We too have the gift of the Holy Spirit to provide support and guidance. We too can ask the Holy Spirit to come into the lives of those whom we wish to see develop in their faith. Tomorrow begins the annual 11 days of prayer between Ascension Day and Pentecost where we commit to praying each day for five people. That these five people will perceive the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. That these five people will take their place in the mission to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
With all my love and prayers