Message from Rev. Katharine
As the season of Easter draws to a close we are encouraged to continue to think about beginnings and endings, or is that endings and beginnings?! Whichever way round we want to put them, they are both part of the cycle of life and faith.I feel a bit sorry for the disciples and those who experienced the presence of the risen Christ with them, because no sooner had they revelled in the joy of Jesus’ resurrection than he makes it clear that he isn’t staying and he’s going again to the Father. They were told to wait (again!) for what would happen next as part of God’s plan.
After Jesus ascended into heaven (Ascension Day is May 10th this year) there was a waiting time before the Spirit came at Pentecost. Our liturgical year says that it is 10 days or so. I wonder if that waiting was a little similar in mood to the shorter time that the disciples had had to wait between Jesus’ death and resurrection. On both occasions, Jesus had gone from their sight and they weren’t sure what would happen next. Something had ended and a new beginning had been promised but it wasn’t here yet. There was an ending and an ‘in between’ time of waiting.
When the Spirit eventually came at Pentecost, it was a powerful new beginning for those who were now to preach, witness and testify to all that God had done in Jesus Christ his Son. Things were never the same again.
Endings, beginnings and periods of waiting are not always comfortable times. They can be both traumatic and enlightening; making us apprehensive but be exciting as well. Ultimately, they can be times in our own lives that enable us to grow as human beings and discover more about ourselves, about others and about God and his plans and purposes for us. Jesus’ words to his disciples, recorded at the end of Matthew’s gospel before he leaves them to go back to the Father, reassure us that in all our experiences of life he is there for us, for he says, ‘And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age’.
May his presence find you right where you are at this present time.
Father God, watch over me, Son of God, walk with me, God the Spirit, move in me. Amen.
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