Brought to you on Thursday 21st May

Dear Friends,

I wonder how you are feeling as you read this letter. For almost as long as we have been in lockdown we have been in Easter Season – the period of almost six weeks from Easter Day, up to Ascension Day, which is this Thursday. As we begin to feel the benefit of the easing of some of the restrictions on our movements, we may well be wondering what kind of world we are going to be living in. For many, there will be a longing to get back to ‘normal’. For others, there will be the growing realisation that the pre-lockdown ‘normal’ no longer exists. Some have lost loved ones during this time; some are recovering from the illness, and others will be facing further months on furlough or even the possibility of redundancy.

It is certainly true that a lot has happened in six weeks, and yet, for many, on a daily basis, nothing much has happened at all.

For Jesus’ disciples the reality of the resurrection changed everything and the time they spent with Jesus between then and his ascension was a formative time. They were able, with Jesus’ help, to begin to process all that they had experienced whilst in his company over the previous three years. They were able to look at his lifestyle, teaching and miracles through the lens of the resurrection and allow that new insight to shape their understanding of their tradition, scripture and their future. All of this didn’t happen overnight, and they couldn’t have made that step on their own or relying on own understanding. They needed Jesus to guide them and they needed each other.

As Jesus prepared to leave them, he gave them instructions to wait for the Holy Spirit who would guide them and equip them for ministry. As they waited together, they devoted themselves to prayer. Prayer underpinned everything that the disciples said and did because they had seen, first hand, how it underpinned everything for Jesus.

Prayer was a natural part of Jesus’ life and relationship with his Father and every aspect of his life was expressed and acknowledged in prayer and he encourages us to have the very same relationship with our heavenly Father.

This month we are invited to join a global wave of prayer as from Ascension Day, May 21st to Pentecost, Sunday May 31st we engage with the initiative, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.

This year we will be marking this time a little differently as we cannot meet together to pray but do go to our website and Facebook page for resources that you might find helpful.

What matters is that we spend time with God, whether we’re sitting quietly in our home or are on our daily walk.

Remember that it doesn’t matter how we pray; as a wise person once said, “Pray as you can, not as you Can’t.”

So, this week, why not join me in saying the Lord’s Prayer at 9am, 12noon & 3pm each day. Prayer really does make a difference. Not because through it we can get God to do what we ask, but rather because, through it we tune in to God’s way of looking at things. It is then that we get a glimpse of the plans and possibilities he holds out for us and those we love. Through prayer we get to play our part in bringing in his kingdom.

Love and prayer, Revd Louise.

stgilesbalderton@gmail.com