Ascension and Pentecost are two enormously important dates in the Christian calendar. This year at St. Nicholas we want to make the most of the opportunities provided by these great festivals so that we are more in line with Christ’s purposes for us.
Ascension … and believers praying together for mission
Luke records that the last words Jesus spoke to the apostles before He ascended were “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8b). Immediately after the ascension the apostles then walked about half a mile back to Jerusalem and immediately started praying (Acts 1:12-14). So Jesus is in heaven and the apostles have a job to do. As a result they start earnestly praying, asking Jesus to help them to do that job.
In the period from Ascension (Thursday 10th May) to Pentecost (Sunday 20th May) we aim to follow the example of the apostles. We will be joining in a worldwide prayer initiative, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, in which every church is being encouraged to make prayer for mission a priority.
Our Curate, Matt Taylor, has put together a special resource card, available from Sunday 6th May, to help us to pray for our non-Christian friends. We will also be holding a special prayer event at 8pm Tuesday 15th May to inspire us to keep praying for the gospel. Please use the resource card and join us for this meeting!
Pentecost … and believers uniting together for mission
Luke records the fact that on the day of Pentecost the believers were all together in one place (Acts 2:1). As they gathered the Holy Spirit filled them and equipped them for mission. Our longing is that at Pentecost Sunday 20th May we would also make it a priority of gathering together in one place at St. Nicholas at 10:30am. Our guest speaker is former Associate Rector, Joe Dent and my prayer is that as he preaches on the wonderful incident involving the woman at the well in John 4 we would experience a new filling of God’s Spirit – “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14). Our aim is that as with the Samaritan woman we would be gripped by a greater desire to speak of Jesus to others (John 4:29).
So, as we come to Ascension Day and Pentecost my hope is that we would take and use these opportunities so that the risen, reigning Christ would be glorified in our midst. Let us be praying that He would send His Spirit amongst us to accomplish His great purposes of grace.
(Rector, St. Nicholas Sevenoaks)