I was speaking to someone recently, trying to explain the virtues of a “comedy album”. As I saw their eyes increasingly glazing over, I realised that whilst explaining the concept of a vinyl album was hard enough, it seemed too great a stretch to suggest that someone would go out and pay for a recording of a comedian simply telling stories or jokes. In the days of the internet, with streaming free or otherwise, a comedy record does indeed sound far fetched. However they did exist, and what’s more I remember buying one… for my dad one birthday: an album with tall stories as told by the Welsh comedian Max Boyce, who would always end a far fetched tale with the catch phrase: “I know, cos I was there!!”
Today the church celebrates Ascension day - acknowledging the return of Jesus to his father and the welcome of heaven. And, through Jesus’ experiences of being on earth; living the life of a human being, we believe heaven to now be a changed place. All of our human experience; the joys and the pains, the highs and the lows, are now represented, appreciated and understood through Jesus. He knows, cos he was here!
We are encouraged to make prayer a focus, in the period between Ascension Day and Pentecost Sunday in 10 days’ time (do join us if you can for the evening pray walk this coming Sunday). And if the glories of heaven feel a long way away from your current situation and the state of the world at present, as we are reminded in the letter to the Hebrews:
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4. 14 - 16
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Keep the faith.