Ascension : From St Mary's Church
Submitted by The Islander (Islander Editors) 17.05.2012 (Article Archived on 31.05.2012)
Thursday, May 17, is Ascension Day;
St. Mary’s Church
Ascension Island (Diocese of St. Helena)
From: FATHER CHRISTOPHER BROWN
Tomorrow , Thursday, May 17, is Ascension Day; we will be holding a special Festival Eucharist at St. Mary’s Church at 7-00p.m.. The celebrant will be Canon Ray Best who is returning to the U.K. having spent four months looking after the Parish of St. Matthew with St. Mark, on St. Helena.
Of the major festivals in the Christian year, the festival of the Ascension is the most neglected ,yet it enshrines very significant Christian teachings. The Ascension of Jesus completes His Incarnation: Christians believe that in Jesus Christ ,almighty God took on our human condition and became one of us. The Ascension marks the time when Jesus, having completed His saving, atoning work for sinners, through His sacrificial death on the cross, and His resurrection, returned to Heaven. In the ascension of Jesus , Christians believe that our humanity is also taken into Heaven into the presence of God the Father.
The day of the Ascension is recorded in the book of Acts Ch.1.There, it tells us that Jesus’ Ascension took place at Bethany, today the site is marked by a Muslim place of worship but we mustn’t doubt the importance of two great promises given at that place , on the day of Jesus’ Ascension. Firstly, Jesus told His disciples to return to Jerusalem and to await the promised gift of God the Father.
This they did and the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on them ten days later on the Day of Pentecost. The second great promise made that day was that Jesus would return. The men in white assured the disciples that “this Jesus whom you see go into Heaven will return in the same way that you have seen Him depart into heaven. (Acts ch.1 : 11 ) The Christian Church pays special attention to the first of those promises on Pentecost Sunday ( May 27) and to the latter teaching during ADVENT (December)when we contemplate the return of Christ in glory to judge the world. Everyone is welcome to join our worship on Thursday evening and on Sunday when our worship and reflections focus on the Ascension of Jesus and it’s enduring message for Christians today.