Messages from around the Benefice

Posting from Lyndon

Wow! Just seen something I’ve wanted to see for a long time. Tonight at 10:04pm the Space Station came over our house. It was a clear night and we had a perfect sighting. I am chuffed. Whilst thinking of things above, tomorrow is Ascension Day, when Jesus, in front of his followers, He ascended to His heavenly Farther.

He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven, ascended into heaven.” Acts 1;9-11.

God Bless

Ascension Day Reflection.


It has been some weeks since my last reflection, all of a sudden I had writers block, however, today I feel I should write a short reflection. In the autumn of 1990, I was on my way to be interviewed by the Provincial Selection Panel in Chester, which would last about four days. Oh Boy! I was nervous. To put it simply I along with fifteen others from all over Wales were going to be interviewed and examined on our suitability to train for the priesthood. This was not my first interview; I had already met the diocesan panel which had my bishop and a load of canons firing questions at me. I managed to successfully get over that hurdle, and now I was facing the more difficult obstacle in Chester.
It was a couple of tense and tiring days, which was indeed spiritual and for some successful and for others very disappointing. All candidates were given a series of interviews and tests; sometimes we faced these tests in groups other times we flew solo. The first of these solo tests was to imagine that it was Ascension Day and we were invited to speak on local radio and tell them of the importance of Ascension Day for the church and indeed for the listeners themselves.
I began by saying that unlike Christmas and Easter I suspected most listeners would have no idea it was Ascension Day and may not even heard of it. After all there are no presents, trees, tinsel or chocolate eggs that are associated with the former church festivals, but Ascension Day is nonetheless as important. I told them of the apostles, and followers of Jesus being put on God’s rollercoaster of emotions, the sadness of the crucifixion, the terror of the empty tomb, the joy of seeing the Risen Christ and now they were about to see Jesus being ascended to heaven.
I told them that God wants all people to be followers of Him and how he loves us all, and that in God’s heavenly place there is a place for us if we choose to take it. I told the listeners that the Apostles were in for another surprise soon on the day of Pentecost, I think I called it Whitsun, for the listeners to understand.
I handed my imaginary written talk to the examiners, who never told us how good or bad our talks were. A few weeks later Bishop Clifford wrote a letter of congratulations to me.
I never told anyone of my Ascension Day talk, until today.
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14
I hope you are all well, stay safe, and we have kept praying for you daily. God Bless.

Following Message from Beryl

For several years, I have been reading the Living Light magazine, each week a new passage of scripture is reflected on by a different person working through the passage day by day.  They make me think more in depth and sometimes I feel as if they are speaking directly to me. The next quarter magazine arrived this week and included the following article from the Editor.

TIME

The last few months have been an extraordinary time for us all.  A time when the invisible enemy, Coronavirus, invaded the world. For many of us it’s been a time of challenge, anxiety, and disbelief.

It’s been a time to support others, to show acts of kindness and to recognise those who put their lives on the frontline. Perhaps we’ve been prompted to contact family or friends with whom we’d lost touch? Perhaps these troubling times reignited our faith in Jesus and brought us to our knees. People of little faith or none would have called out to the heavens in desperate prayer. No doubt many of us have spent time grieving over lives cut short.

Many churches set up live recordings of their sermons as they could not meet together. This has provided a great opportunity to forward those recordings onto our non-churched family and friends. People often decline our invitation to attend church but might be happy to watch a service online. Well people had time on their hands to do that, as we were asked to “stay at home”. (Those sermons may well still be online for you to forward onto others if you haven’t done so already). Have the recent difficult last few months made us re-evaluate our lives? Have we been challenged to assess what we do with our time? Have we been prompted to spend more time with our loved ones, or to reconnect with friends from the past? Maybe we have been reminded to let the Fruit of the Spirit be more evident in us?

The Fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

Our time on earth is limited. Let’s spend our time wisely. Let’s spend our time following Jesus more closely and telling others about Him. We may not be able to answer the “why” questions, which we or others have, about Coronavirus or anything else. We can only keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, knowing that ultimately, He provides a way to be reconciled to the Father. He came to give us everlasting life, eternal life.

 “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4 16-18).

Time for Prayer

Lord, your Word tells us that there is a time for everything, and a season for ever activity under the heavens. Show me how you want me to use my time. Please speak to me about whether I need to make changes to what I do or the way I live. Please help me stand on your Word at all times. In Jesus Name. Amen

These words by Canon Michael Cole , have made to think about what I was doing prior to the lockdown and the many new things I have found time for over the last few weeks as well as the things I miss doing .

Beryl