Pastoral Letter for Wed 20th May:
My Dear Friends, 

Tomorrow – Thursday 21st May – marks the Feast of the Ascension. Ascendancy is an important concept in healthy living; and we really do need to hear what Ascension is telling us about our own situation in life.

There are a great many things in life that weigh us down and depress us. The message of the Ascension, however, is that God will not be held down, or kept down – by any of the setbacks or misfortunes of life. His power is stronger than the things that grind us down. This image of Christ ascending into the heavens – overcoming death, and everything that tries to depress us and keep us down – is really all about overcoming the gravity of life – and rising supreme above it!

There are two verses in the Ascension account to which I would draw your attention. Acts 1:8 - “Ye shall be witnesses unto me.” Acts 1:11- “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” “

Why are you standing there looking into the sky?” Stop worrying about things that are outwith, above, and beyond your control. Instead, discover God’s power and presence in your own life here and now - and go and live that message out. There is a task to be done; and we are called to witness to the life and hope and new possibilities that God opens up in changed circumstances. Concentrate on that. We witness best through our own love and kindliness and care. We witness best by bringing God into the situation. We witness best by living in faith and hope and trust; and bringing something of the uplift and encouragement of God to bear on the lives of others.

Christ rose in triumph; and we too can have the courage and assurance to face life’s challenges with every confidence – and to rise above them. We are called to be open to God’s power and to be witnesses to this truth. We too can ascend above the things that get us down. The power and presence of God can lift us up. We can bear witness to God’s love and power and goodness – and reflect our faith and hope into the lives of others.

Liz joins me in sending our love to you all.
Alex.