Ascension to Pentecost
A poem by Malcolm Guite
Sunday morning’s readings spark
faith, as of fire, hot yet soft
like light insinuating
hope – dare we open our mouths,
blurt out burning syllables ?
We trust instead proper notes
ancient canonical words.
Slowly, the strict tongue’s measure
opens the mind’s refusal,
Loosens what medieval bound
In careful notes: ecstatic
Diapason – the Divine
Consonance. God’s Spirit.
I am told that in the history of St Catherine’s as far back as anyone can remember there has never been an Annual Meeting held in May.
I am told that in the history of St Catherine’s as far back as anyone can remember there has never been an election held for Wardens.
That the second of these should fall in the days between Ascension and Pentecost, in those 10 days when the Christian world holds its collective breath every year, poised, waiting prayerfully – each in their own ways and traditions and cultures re-enacting what this agony must have felt like for the first disciples.
Will the promised Spirit actually come and how and when and where ?
For us that translates into – Will the promised Spirit come and dwell among us as disciples, as a church / chaplaincy in this coming year. And if so what will that mean for us as we journey on ….?
Perhaps we should consider holding our Annual Meeting in this space every year. (Note- the deadline in normal times is the end of April so we hope to return to that next year and for always…)
But for this year we await also the results of that Warden election, in parallel. Reminding us perhaps afresh and this year in a very pointed way, that our communal life, our strategic life, though mostly less visible than our worshipping life also needs our prayers.
There are countless names and titles and descriptions by which this Holy Spirit is known.
Let me offer just 7 to lead us into prayer:
– Breath of the Almighty – we pray for those who cannot breathe and where oxygen is scarce like India and Nepal
– Spirit of life – we pray for those who have been born in these Covid months
– Spirit of grace – we pray that this may abound between world leaders as tensions everywhere are high
– Spirit of truth – we pray for our own relationship with this in a culture that no longer values it
– Spirit of holiness – how we yearn for this in our church and in ourselves
– Spirit of wisdom – we pray for parents in these challenging times
– Spirit of justice – we pray for justice not only in vaccine roll-out but all access to health care globally
Amen and Amen.