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Is it possible to be a leaver and a remainer I wonder?

Now before you think I'm going to launch into some political comment, I want to reassure that in this instance I am referring to the person of Jesus.

As you read this I imagine we will be just about to reflect on the Ascension of Jesus, which this year we mark on Thursday 30th May, and we will be also looking forward to Pentecost Sunday on June 9th. Pentecost was originally a Jewish harvest festival celebrated 50 days after the Passover.

After Ascension, as Jesus had returned to be with his Father, the disciples were feeling very uncertain, in a kind of limbo, suspended between Jesus' death, the post resurrection appearances and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had promised to send them an advocate, a helper and the disciples were nervously waiting. After all their leader had left and their confidence was lacking.

Exactly where Jesus had gone is not important, this is one of these times when we just have to let God be God, beyond our understanding..

First Jesus had to become the leaver; then he would become the remainer, ever present. ‘Remember I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28.20).

What is important, however, is what happens ‘From Now On'....the baton of God's love has been passed to the disciples and to us.

As John Pritchard writes..'If we dam up the flow of love in ourselves, without letting it flow to others, the result is that we get flooded and probably drown! The Spirit empowers the flow of love in, through and beyond us. We serve others with a grace that comes from the presence of the Spirit in us. We find that we are drawn into works of mercy and compassion, and to activities and organisations that in a huge number of different ways are building the foundations of the kingdom of God. This is our own Pentecost, a never ending flow of the Spirit that empowers our love of God and our neighbour. It takes the rest of our lives.'

So as we once again, reflect on Jesus, the leaver, let us consider the task he has left us to do and how each and every one of our individual and varied gifts given by the Spirit might be used to bring about the Kingdom of God from now on.

With every blessing,

Ruth Crosland
Licensed Lay Minister