Ascension Day is the start of ten days of faithful waiting and the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, has invited everyone in our diocese to join in daily prayer.
The national Church is also encouraging Thy Kingdom Come, a global wave of prayer by all Christians between Ascension Day (21 May) and Pentecost (31 May) for more people to come to know Jesus.
Reflecting on the unique and testing times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop Tony writes:
“At a time when the whole world continues in anxiety – not simply about the usual things: what we shall eat, or drink, or wear, but anxiety for our bodies, our very breath and lives, and the lives of others, both our loved ones and strangers – the Church has a triple proclamation!
Christ has died: and by his death we are forgiven, healed and reconciled to God.
Christ is risen: and he shares the brilliance of his new life through his body, the Church.
Christ will come again: and as pledge of what is to come has given us the Spirit to dwell in our hearts!
Christ gives us, for our anxiety, his resurrection peace – not as the world gives, and but that which passes understanding.
It radiates from the stories of the empty tomb and the upper room, from the shores of Galilee and the hill of the ascension. He calls us not to be anxious about adding days to our lives, but to add life to our days!
That is why the last ten days of Easter culminate in the period between the Ascension and Pentecost: ‘waiting for the Father’s promise’ waiting for the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life.
It was Jesus himself who first instructed his disciples to observe those days in prayer: ‘he told them not to go away from Jerusalem, but ‘to wait for the Father’s promise’.
I would like you join in Praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit, every day from Ascension to Pentecost joining with other Christians throughout the world with ‘Thy Kingdom Come ‘ call to prayer.
I hope that you will join me and many others each day until we celebrate Pentecost.”
Bishop Tony Robinson
Whilst remaining closed, the churches in our Wakefield Episcopal Area are beginning a constant prayer chain from Ascension Day until Pentecost, with different churches taking responsibility for each day.