Released - soon!
There are 40 days between Easter and Ascension, the day Jesus ascended to heaven. During those days the risen Lord spent time with his remaining disciples teaching and preparing them for his departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. In John’s Gospel we read of the disciples being ‘locked in for fear of the Jews’ and it is into that room of gloom Jesus appears. Soon their fearful self-imposed imprisonment would end. No longer would they be people who were anxious and frightened, but disciples empowered by the Holy Spirit who would become bold proclaimers of the resurrection of Jesus and the new life he promised for all who believe. It is some transformation. It is the risen Jesus that prepares them.
I find it rather symbolic that the 17th of May, the day ‘step three relaxation’ rules come into force falls (dependent on infection rates), exactly between Ascension Day (Thursday 13th) and the Day of Pentecost (Sunday 23rd).
Just before Jesus ascended, he told the disciples to ‘stay in the city until you have received power from high’ (Luke 24.49). They had to wait, not quite under a full lockdown, but with travel restrictions. Then on the Day of Pentecost everything changed. The Holy Spirit came as promised and the disciples became people of confidence and power. Peter preached a simple sermon that connected with his listeners and, ‘those who accepted his message were baptised, about three thousand were added to their number that day’ (Acts 2. 41). It was the day the church was born.
We all know about the lockdowns that have become part of our lives for over a year. Physically, emotionally and spirituality we have been affected. We understand the physical restrictions of who we can meet, the wearing of masks, and the keeping distances. We are aware of our emotional needs and the many things that have impacted upon us: the funerals limited by number; the children, or grandchildren we have yet to meet; the elderly parent in a care home cut off for too long; the worry over work and finance. Then there is the spiritual lockdown. That sense of lostness, isolation, an uncertainty of who we are and where we fit in; a sense of God and yet a void; a desire for meaning and purpose and an uncertainty of where to find answers. When St Augustine wrote, ‘you have made us for yourself, and our hearts find no rest until we rest in you’, it came from his own experience of searching and then finding.
Why not join us for our benefice service on Ascension Day at St Nicholas’ Church in Dereham at 7.00pm and then join us in one of the churches on the Day of Pentecost, you will be made most welcome.
Many of our Sunday services from Dereham are live-streamed on Facebook .
View them here: https://www.facebook.com/stnicsdereham/
Daily Prayer Tuesday - Saturday is also live-streamed on Facebook at 9.00 am
Daily Prayer Monday-Thursday and Saturday on Zoom at 9.00am
Our channel is called 'St Nicholas' Church Dereham' and can be found using the following link:
With our return to the churches our YouTube channel is used less often.
If you click on 'Subscribe' it will be easier to find in future.
The calendar at the bottom of this page shows upcoming services. You'll find a warm and friendly welcome.
Please click on the 'Contact Us' tab to get in touch with our clergy.