Clergy Notes — Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 5, 2024


This Thursday is Ascension Day. The church celebrates the end of the time on earth of the Risen Christ and his glorious return to the Kingdom of God. There is a story about this which is clearly apocryphal – but nonetheless charming and thought provoking.

It tells of an imaginary conversion between the newly ascended Christ and a group of angels. They were anxious to hear about his time on earth and had many questions. They were very impressed when he told them how well his teaching was received. His listeners, he said, told him that he spoke about God in ways that were relevant, understandable and very exciting. When Christ told them about his encounters with the poor and powerless, the hungry and the homeless and the unloved and unlovely, they were deeply moved. They were full of admiration when he spoke about his standing up for his beliefs even when it made him a number of powerful enemies among the religious hierarchy.

One of the angels asked, “What arrangements have you made to ensure that this wonderful work continues now that you are no longer on earth?”  He and his fellow angels wanted to be sure that the mission and ministry would not stop. Jesus replied, “I chose twelve individuals and commissioned them to carry on where I left off. They will continue to do this by word and example. Others will join them. It will spread across the world.”

Some of the angels were less than happy. They pointed out that twelve was a small number and that human beings were not always strong and reliable. They asked if he had a back-up plan. Christ took a deep breath and said these words to them and to us in twenty first century Vancouver.

“There is NO back-up plan!”

Fr. Neil (Gray)

Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday, May 5, 2024