These days, we are living between the feast of the Ascension, which we celebrated last Thursday, and Pentecost, which we will celebrate this coming Sunday, and they have a very particular feel to them.
In the Ascension, we see how the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is not limited in time or space, but present for all people, in all places and for all time. Yet we find ourselves also waiting with expectation for the coming of the Holy Spirit by whom we will know and share in the fullness of life that Jesus promises. It is now and also not yet!
This speaks powerfully to us of how we are to live confidently in the mess of this world as each day we pray in the words that Jesus taught us, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. We know that the world is not as it should be. Too many go without their daily bread and so often we fall short of the love of God for us in our actions and inactions, and in our failure to forgive. Yet we do not lose hope because of what God has done for us, because God loves us first before we do anything else and because God promises we will never be abandoned. This is God’s gift to us in which we find and share life itself.
It is this life that the Church, the Body of Christ gathered, is called to live in its common life of worship, service and witness. It is this life that we are to share as together we work for the coming of the Kingdom for which we pray with a commitment to justice, the relief of the oppressed, a care for the poor and the inclusion of all in the life we share.
It is this that underpins the commitment of many of our communities in this Diocese to play their part in these 11 days between Ascension and Pentecost, in Thy Kingdom Come, a global and ecumenical prayer movement that is committed to share our faith that all may have the opportunity to know Jesus Christ and the life He brings. The good news is we can all join in – whether your local community is formally taking part or not, will you join with me in praying Thy Kingdom Come?