Sunday 21st May – Communion Service led by Revd. David Aplin

This week our Service included the ordination and induction into the Eldership of Janet O’Connor and Marian Poulton.

In recognition of this David included in his opening remarks the story of the loaves and fishes. The message was that with God’s help, small beginnings can lead to great things – a good message to two ladies who may under-estimate their potential to contribute to an effective Eldership. As David said, “God knows what we can do”. ( I did wonder if David was also suggesting to Janet a new approach for our Charity Lunches).

Following the reading from Acts 1, David focused on verses 10-11 where Jesus is taken up to Heaven. Just a few verses, he said, but so much meaning for us.

Firstly, he ascended: like the walking on water, he walked on air ascending until he was hidden by cloud. There were no angels helping. So heaven is up there, it’s not everywhere, and certainly not in a parallel universe.

Many people, including David, have had near death experiences where a pathway opens. At the time of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster one such person recorded crowds of people rushing past him on that path. And that tramp is not Jesus in disguise. We are told he will come again as he left, not as a babe, not disguised as a poor person, or even Emmanuel – God with us as man. He will return as he left, our resurrected Lord. It is as a God that he ascended, and as a God that he will return. He’s regained the body he originally had. He gave up being a God to come to us, to live the life he did, and make the sacrifices he did, but he left as a God and as such he will return.

It was the same God who could appear in a locked room to his disciples. David again recounted his experience with the 95-year-old woman told him that Jesus had appeared to her in the room at her care home whilst he was sharing Coly Communion with her – interrupting his Service flow to share the news.

The same Jesus will appear to us in our lives, and we too will be taken to heaven but for us there will be no return. Through his resurrection Jesus shows us how he could live again and how we can go to heaven where there are rooms for us (In my Father’s house……). The ascension of Jesus shows us how we can reach those rooms prepared for us.

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