Dear friends in Christ,
As I write this letter it is the Feast of St. Odo of Cluny, writes Rev’d Christopher Ketley. He was the founder of spirituality at the Abbey of Cluny, near Le Mans, in France. His first priority was to rekindle the faith of the monks in the value of their own state. He reminded them that their life consisted in maintaining the presence in the world of the mystery of Pentecost. This is the essential task of the Church then and today. It is now your task and mine!
Being Faithful and keeping the Faith is hard, if not at times seemingly impossible. Nelson Mandela once said: “It always seems impossible until it is done.” The ability to achieve the impossible is a mark of Faith. How something comes to be achieved is a Mystery, but the Church is the Church of Mysteries! No need for explanations, just keep the Faith!
Next Thursday 18th we celebrate that almost forgotten, if not inconvenient, Feast of the Ascension at 10am at Christ Church. Some like to transfer it to a Sunday. Others are traditional and refuse to change and keep it on a Thursday, whilst most, now ignore it! After the Resurrection of Christ from the dead at Easter, the feast of The Ascension of the Lord must surely rank in order of importance with Pentecost. For without the Ascension there could be no Pentecost, no sending of God’s Holy Spirit ‘the Comforter’ to everyone, everywhere in the world. Without Christ returning home to the Father. He would have been another worker of miracles living only in the Holy Land. Thankfully, this is not the case.
We need help. Our world needs God’s help. So many things appear impossible to achieve, but with God’s help can be achieved. This is what our Faith is about. I came across this prayer recently from the Church of Scotland’s Book of Common Order (1994). I think St. Odo would approve, and you and I need to make it our own:
Lord Jesus Christ,
We acknowledge your rule over every realm of life:
Subdue the world by the might of your love.
Son of Mary: consecrate our homes.
Son of David: cleanse our politics.
Son of God: Grant us eternal life.
Jesus the Carpenter: hallow our daily work.
Jesus the Saviour: save us from ourselves.
Jesus the Life-giver: renew your Church.
Jesus the Crucified: reveal your love and power to all who suffer.
Jesus the King: raise us to live and reign with you for ever.
Jesus the Word of God: perfect your creation.
And bring the world to the knowledge of your Love.
With every blessing for the coming Ascensiontide.
Yours in Christ
Christopher – Rector