May '18

 

The Vicar writes…

One of the strangest devotional sights that I have come across is in the Chapel of the Ascension at the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Here our Jesus’ feet, bearing the marks of the nails, poke out of the ceiling, in an almost comic portrayal his ascension into heaven.


On 10th May the church celebrates Ascension Day. The day is marked in different ways by different places – some may set off fireworks at the start of the Eucharist, some may release balloons. At the College of the Resurrections students ascend the college tower to greet the morning with hymns before matins. Here at St Nicholas’, we will start the day at 6am (!) with a walk up Seat Naze to pray and sing Ascension Day hymns, including “Hail the day that sees him rise!”


There may be a hint of sadness about Ascension Day – we have enjoyed the nearness of the presence of the risen Christ during Eastertide and through the resurrection stories we have experienced that nearness of his walking amongst the disciples. But now we see him ascend to take his place at the right hand of the Father.


Yet far from this being the point where Christ leaves us, it is the moment that he promises to be with us forever by the power of the Holy Spirit, until we in our turn ascend to the Father.


On Ascension Day we are not only encouraged to look up but to look all around us – to see signs of the coming of the kingdom and to pray that God will bring it about.


Ascension Day begins the Archbishop of Canterbury’s time of prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come” and what better time for us to make this prayer and commit ourselves to God’s service, until Christ comes again.


With my prayers and best wishes,

 Mother Penny