The New Room is sharing a Friday reflection each week during the time that we are closed. Even though we cannot currently join together for our usual Friday lunchtime Communion service in the chapel, we hope that these short reflections will act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
The Revd Dr John Emmett worked as a nuclear power physicist before entering church ministry. He served in the Swindon, Bath and Gloucestershire Circuits and also as programme director and tutor at Wesley College. John was the Ecumenical Officer for the Bristol District and a member of the Connexion Faith and Order Committee. He maintains a keen interest in the relationship between science and religion.
Yesterday, May 21st was Ascension Day, a festival in the Christian calendar whose importance is often overlooked. The ascension is not a convenient way to remove Jesus’ earthly presence after his death and resurrection. Ascension summarises all that the resurrection of Jesus means. Here briefly are five aspects of the ascension. Firstly, lifting up: Jesus is lifted up, not in any physical way into the sky but into glory across all time and space, let loose into the entire world. Secondly, overcoming evil: Jesus’ way of life led him to the cross to die. Being raised to new life he overcame death and all that is evil and destructive. Being ascended to heaven in glory he received the Father ‘yes’ to his life and death. Thirdly, changing relationships: Jesus is no longer with his disciples on earth but he is still with them through the gift of the Holy Spirit. That Spirit empowers them to continue the ministry of Jesus. Fourthly, sitting at the right hand of the Father: the risen Jesus is with his Father in heaven. He makes the connection between earth and heaven between us and the Father. Lastly, a human being going to heaven: we too have the hope of heaven when we follow the way of Jesus. Death is not the end, resurrection tells us so and ascension seals it for us. Like the first disciples we continue Jesus’ ministry to overcome what is evil and destructive knowing that we too can share in the glory of his ascension.
Heavenly Father, help us through the power of your Holy Spirt to follow the way of Jesus Christ, risen ascended and glorified. Amen