Dearest Saints at Ascension,
Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and the risen Lord Jesus, who is the Christ!
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, during all the lockdowns and uncertainty, many people dreamed of the day when we could return to normal.
On Easter, we saw how the women who first encountered the empty tomb were also confronted with returning to normal. After all, if Jesus is not raised, if He is dead in the tomb, life will go back to normal. It will be a life devoid of His promises, miracles, and hope. But as the angel proclaims, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (Matt. 28:6, NIV).
My dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as the world continues its search for the normal, my sincerest prayer is that your lives would be anything but normal. Normal is not worthy of the Saints of God. What we experience together as a people redeemed by the Cross is anything but normal. Likewise, the mission we are called to carry out is anything but a dusty ride in the slow lane.
Imagine what it must have been like to follow Jesus during His earthly ministry. To see the miracles, to hear His words, to see the marks of the nails. I have no doubt that every encounter with Him was something to write home about. There was no getting used to Jesus calming storms or raising the dead.
Today as His contemporary followers there is no getting used to the waters of Baptism, the miracle of the Eucharist, or the hearing of the Word. We cling to these recognizing them as the treasure they are. Gifts to ensure the Saints can live the life we were intended to live. Lives of hope, joy, and promise.
Please accept this message as a personal invitation to return to Church where we can experience the fullness of our Lord’s promises together.
May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Peace and light,