As part of our all together service on Sunday (and indeed also as a follow up talk on the Ascension across at Medlock school the morning after) a large white (and I would add; “beautiful” balloon) was used as an illustration. However, despite the considerable height of our worship room, and indeed of the assembly hall at school, the balloon though elevated, remained in view. Not so of course, the original ascended Jesus, who rose up through the clouds until he was hidden from the sight of the disciples. And yet, despite this apparent separation, the disciples are recorded as “returning to Jerusalem praising God with great joy”.
In our service, we reflected on the fact that rather than dismay at seemingly being cut off from Jesus, that his disciples must have been encouraged that God was still in charge. Indeed, rather than up, up, and away, Jesus was up, up, and now over all, with the promise that by his spirit he would and will never leave us.
Later in the day on Sunday, it was a privilege to be with Kaisa, and 15 other candidates from our deanery, who were confirmed by the Bishop of Middleton at St Edmund’s Whalley Range. Again in an uplifting occasion, part of the service included a reminder that we all can receive the assurance of God’s Spirit.
So, as we approach Pentecost Sunday at the end of this coming week, may we be open to the transforming and re-assuring spirit of God, who seeks to bless us individually and as a community. Do join us if you can on Sunday when we look to share in communion together and welcome God’s Sprit in our midst.