St James The Great
Old Milverton, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
22/05/2020 Christian Message from Rev. Sue
Dear St James
It’s two months now since we were last all together in church and I know that you, like me, are missing the building as well as the fellowship that we share in that space. A thank you to William for doing the Ascension Day service from St James this Thursday. Perhaps one of the good things to come out of all this is the growing link between us and St Mary Magdalene: hopefully it’s something we can find a way to continue when life goes back to ‘normal’.
Ascension Day is a festival we don’t often celebrate, falling as it does on a Thursday. Some church choirs mark the day by climbing up their towers and singing early in the morning. In the days when I was connected to St Mary’s, Warwick, the men and boys choir traditionally climbed up the church tower while their Girls’ choir went up Guys Tower at the Castle and they sang across to one another. Breakfast was enjoyed together at the Castle afterwards before everyone went off to work or school.
In my collection of bits and pieces I have a poem about Ascension Day and the different high places where the disciples came to know Jesus as the Messiah:
Come Up The Hill
Come up the hill. Come up the hill.
Outside the bustle of the town, I taught you there,
Where you can choose – look up or down. Broke bread to share.
We are apart now We walked and laughed there
On the hill On a hill.
Come up the hill.
I prayed there for you.
Learned what to do.
I went apart there
On a hill.
Come up the hill. Come up the hill.
We met in glory, Where the empty cross lies
Learned the full story. Under the dark skies,
You knelt there Cut off there
On a hill On a hill.
Come up the hill.
Like angels sang at my birth,
Glory in heaven, peace on earth,
Together though parted
On the hill.
A correction to last week’s communication: I misunderstood Rusty when we talked about his visit to Berlin last year and have to report that he did notkiss Angela Merkel but a different lady entirely – thank you for putting me right Rusty but I have to say, I think Mrs Merkel missed out there!
Earlier in the week I sent you details of Thy Kingdom Come. This is the name the Church gives to the time between Ascension Day (21st) and Pentecost (31st May). During these 10 days we are encouraged to read our bibles and to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit into our own lives and also to pray for those we love who are finding faith difficult or out of reach at the moment. I’m sure we all know people who are finding their spiritual lives hard in the current situation so this is a good opportunity to ask God to make his love known to them in some way. One way to pray for others is to use your hand: 5 fingers = 5 different people to pray for. I’ve suggested to the Sunday Club children that they could do that by drawing around their own hand, decorating the whole thing and then writing the name of each person they would like to pray for on the individual fingers. If you’re feeling creative, feel free to join in…
In the meantime, God’s wonderful world continues to be a real solace and source of hope for me – and I hope for you too. On a walk last week by the canal I came across a pair of swans standing by a nest that was full of tiny little cygnets, not quite close enough for me to count how many. In the last couple of days, one of my neighbours has seen them out on the canal – mum and 8 little cygnets. I’ll keep you posted of their progress - they’re a real reminder for me of the way the natural world continues very successfully without us!
Finally, my usual notice that William live streams a service of Night Prayer at 7pm Monday to Friday each week and a communion service on Wednesdays and Sundays at 10.00am. St Mary Magdalene’s website is www.lillingtonparishchurch.org. All you have to do is click on ‘live streaming on the left hand side to join in. And don’t forget to let me know if you are aware of anyone who would like our prayers at the moment, and I will pass the request on to our prayer team.
we thank you that through his Ascension Jesus was set free to be Lord of all; no longer bound to a particular place or time, but with us always and able to reach out to the ends of the earth. Help us, despite the uncertainties of this present time, to hold firm to the one great truth that the wonder of Christ goes far beyond anything we can imagine, and may we live each day knowing that the risen and ascended Christ is always by our side.
As always, my love and prayers to you all,
Thy Kingdom Come
During the 10 days between Ascension Day and Pentecost we are invited to pray for those we know whose are struggling to hold onto their faith at the moment or who as yet do not have a faith in Jesus Christ. It is also an opportunity to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost by a simple routine of daily prayer and readings.
Here is a simple patter for daily prayer, together with the psalm and readings set for each day that you might like to follow.
Daily Prayer from Ascension Day until Pentecost
O God, make speed to save us
O Lord, make haste to help us
Gladden the soul of your servant,
For to you, I life up my soul
A Hymn of Praise
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life;
Such a Way, as gives us breath:
Such a Truth, as ends all strife:
And such a Life, as killeth death.
Come, my Light my Feast, my Strength:
Such a Light, as shows a Feast:
Such a Feast, as mends in length:
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a Joy, as none can move:
Such a Love, as none can part:
Such a Heart, as joys in Love. George Herbert (1633)
The Word of God
The Psalm appointed for the day (see the table below)
A reading (see the table below)
A short time of silence to invite God to speak to us
Pray for the day and its tasks
Share with God the things that are on your heart today
Pray for your five people, that they may come to know God’s love in their lives
your ascended Son has sent us into the world
to preach the good news of your kingdom:
inspire us with your Spirit
and fill our hearts with the fire of your love,
that all who hear your Word
may be drawn to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Collect for Thy Kingdom Come
The Lord’s Prayer
May the grace of the Holy Spirit enlighten our hearts and minds.
Psalms and Readings for Thy Kingdom Come
Day Psalm Reading
Ascension Day 21st May 150 Hebrews 9.24
Friday 22nd May 81 Hebrews 2.8-10
Saturday 23rd May 47 Romans 8.38-39
Sunday 24th May 104.26-35 Acts 1.6-14.
Monday 25th May 93 Isaiah 40.28-end
Tuesday 26th May 99 1 Corinthians 12.4-7
Wednesday 27th May 29 Matthew 6.25-34
Thursday 28th May 24 Luke 11.9-13
Friday 29th May 28 2 Corinthians 1.20-22
Saturday 30th May 43 2 Corinthians 3.17-18
Pentecost 31st May 87 Acts 2.1-21
We are sorry to say that, following Church of England guidelines, THE CHURCH IS CLOSED until further notice. If you feel that we can help you in the meantime do get in touch with the church wardens via our 'Contact Us' page. We will keep in touch with everyone on our email list. See you all before long. In the mean time please see the Church of England website for details of services you can access on line, Covid 19 tips and prayer guidance. Also, the Bishop of Coventry has recorded a message for everyone.