Hallwood Ecumenical Parish
Bethesda, Palace Fields & St. Mark’s, Beechwood
Church of England – Methodist – United Reformed Church
29 May 2022
Jesus’ disciples had been on a roller-coaster ride over the last 6 weeks or so – from the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, through the anguish of the crucifixion to the joy of resurrection – and for the last 40 days Jesus had been appearing and teaching and reassuring them. And now he had disappeared into the clouds.
Their leader and saviour had just taken off, seemingly skyward. The military and political authorities seemed stronger and more dangerous than ever. As Jesus leaves them, they are pleading with him to restore the Kingdom to Israel. “It’s not for you to know … but the Spirit will come to you …” And then he is gone. And they are standing there looking up, searching the sky, wishing to see a sign that the time would be now. Or soon. Or at least certain to come.
Yet, here, with Jesus, a promise is made. The promise is: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes. I send the promise of my father upon you until you are clothed with power from on high. Stay where you are. Stay in the city. Continually bless God in the temple. Be joyful.”
And just like those first disciples, we are not called to look for the Kingdom, to search the heavens for signs of its arrival, but to step into it here and now with all that we are, all that we have, all that we say and all that we do. To those of us who stay here joyfully blessing God, it will come. Those who participate in this life with an attitude of thanksgiving will receive its full promise.
Lord Jesus Christ, you were brought low, yet you have been lifted high.
You were the servant of all, yet you are above all and beyond all.
You were despised and rejected, yet your name is exalted above all names.
You were fully human, yet you are divine.
You were taken into heaven, yet you are here by our sides.
You are higher than our highest thoughts,
greater than our minds can ever grasp.
So, with all your people in every age, we bow before you
and confess you as our risen Saviour, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Rev’d Ian Smith
Sunday 29 May 10.30am Morning Worship at Bethesda
10.30am Morning Worship at St. Mark’s
7.30pm Online Evening Worship *
* focusing on the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ reflection for the day
Sunday 5 June 10.30am Café Sunday at Bethesda
10.30am Holy Communion at St. Mark’s
7.30pm Online Holy Communion +
+ Communion units can be collected from church on Sunday morning.