Goodbye, au revoir, salutare, hwyl fawr, auf wiedersehen, zegnaj, adios, vaarwel - however you say it - it means the same.
It isn’t that long ago that the Christian Church celebrated Ascension Day with all that entails.
Jesus met with his followers after Easter and they saw him ascend, back to God.
I can well imagine the disciples gazing heavenward with gaping jaws.
The messengers from God promise them that “this Jesus will return again in the same vein as they’d watched him go” (see Acts 1). However Jesus had left them with a promise.
That fulfilled promise is what is celebrated each Pentecost, maybe some older readers will remember it being called Whit Sunday. On the original Pentecost the apostle Peter had spoken to the listening crowds about Jesus and what He’d done for them and what they’d done to Him.
So what had changed a group of frightened followers of Jesus into an embolden group of men who went out to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah? The short answer is the Holy Spirit!
The locked room where they’d gathered was filled with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, tongues of fire appeared on each disciple and God’s power descended.
They ran out into the streets shouting out the Good News and people heard the message in their own native tongue. No-one could claim they hadn’t understood wherever they’d come from. God’s Holy Spirit is alive and active in the world today, in Whitby and in each and every village in which we live and work. If you want that selfsame Spirit to be in your life then all you need to do is ask God in all sincerity for the gift of His Holy Spirit. That gift can and will manifest itself in many ways, if you read through the epistles of the New Testament you can read about them.
I want to take this opportunity to also say my goodbyes to those of you who read the Gazette, this August my family and I are moving on after five years ministering in and around Whitby and the villages. As yet we have no idea where the Methodist Church will be sending us.
May I commend to your prayers my successor the Rev Jane Carter and her husband Deacon Andrew Carter (he will have an extended ministry to the rest of our Methodist circuit).
Thank you all.