WE are having very little relief from lockdown but it is good to know that the overall situation is improving. I think that it is a miracle that the weather has been so wonderful so that we can have the benefit of the sun.

On the other hand it is so sad that we are heading for a death toll of 40,000. This is dreadful. We will never see these people again.

The disciples of Jesus would never see him again after his Ascension into heaven. Ascension Day is this coming Thursday. When I was a school-boy we were given a holiday on this day.

One would think that St Luke would have portrayed the disciples as being disillusioned and sad as they come away from the mountain of the Ascension. (I have stood in the Chapel of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives where there is a mark in the floor that is said to be the footprint of Christ).

St Luke tells us something quite different.

“They worshipped him,” he says “and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing God.”

These disciples became the apostles who would turn the world upside down. They accomplished more after Jesus left them than when he was with them. What was the secret that enabled them to do this?

The secret was that they had met with the risen Christ and a new hope had been born in their hearts. They became changed people on the Day of Pentecost (our Whitsun). They were filled with the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised would come after he had gone.

This means that Jesus was closer than breathing, nearer than hands or feet. Above them, beside them and now actually within them; his life pulsating in them and theirs in his.

How can we learn to realize this truth? We can do it by letting Jesus into our lives and open the door of our heart.

Holman Hunt painted a beautiful picture of Jesus standing at a door and knocking. We see that there is no handle on the outside. The door can only be opened from the inside.

As we think of those thousands of people who have died from this awful virus let us dedicate ourselves to make this world a better place when we will begin to rebuild our lives.

There is a lovely Welsh hymn on the Ascension, by J.T. Job (1867-1938).

“Beth yw’r cwmwl gwyn sy’n esgyn

o’r Olewydd tua’r nef?

Cerbyd Brenin y gogoniant

Sydd yn ymdaith tua thref;


sanctaith byrth y ddinas wen.


Beth yw’r disgwyl sy ‘Nghaersalem?

Beth yw’r nerthol swn o’r nef?

Arsain croeso’r saith ugeinmil

i’w ddyrchafael rhyfedd ef.

Diolch iddo,

y mae’r Pentecost gerllaw.


Ar y lliaws yng Nghaersalem,

daeth addewid fawr y Tad,

syrth y miloedd i foli

Duw am iachawdwriaeth rad;

Ysbryd Sanctaidd,

aros mwyach gyda ni.”

A Prayer:

“Keep us, good Lord

Under the shadow of your mercy

Sustain and support the anxious

Be with those who care for the sick,

And lift up all who are brought low;

That we may find comfort

Knowing that nothing can separate

Us from your love

In Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

Rev John Powell

Retired vicar of Cardigan