Even as we wonder at the power of the wind to drive the Sea Venture onto our shores in 1609 and in our day, the visiting Tall Ships and the AC 35 boats to multiples of the wind speed, so Bermuda needs a new wind to blow upon us – soften our hearts, break down divisions, and send us out once more, united and fuelled for a new day of transformation and change.
On Thursday, the Church remembers the Ascension Day – part two of the resurrection where our Lord Jesus was taken to heaven to the Father’s right hand side – where he intercedes for us and sends his spirit upon us and rules over our unruly hearts. Prior to that day he called his disciples to go out into the world with the gospel of his saving love and to make disciples of all nations. But on the day he ascended, he told them first to wait for the coming of his Spirit and to pray. For the next 10 days, they did wait and prayed until the great feast of Pentecost came. In the Jewish calendar that feast celebrated the coming in of the harvest – but prefigured a spiritual harvest when Jew and Gentile might come together.
When the day arrived, we read how the Spirit of God descended in wind and flames of fire. In the city there were people from around the world gathered for the festival. The wind blew Jesus’s followers out into the streets to speak to each visitor and resident alike about the great things God had done – in their own languages. All of a sudden, a new unity and vision was experienced which drove these first followers out into a peaceful revolution which transformed their world and established a new community of people from every language, race and colour.
Once more this year, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Church of Bermuda is setting aside the time from Ascension Day (Thursday, 25th May) to Pentecost (Sunday, 4th June). This initiative called ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, is an opportunity to pray for our Island – and to ask God for His Spirit to blow upon us afresh to establish a new unity, a new vision and that every person might experience the love of Jesus Christ for themselves. On the Thursday there will be services at 6am at Portuguese Rock, 8am at the Cathedral, open air services at Pembroke Community Club and Heydon Trust Chapel at 6pm and St Mark’s Church, Smith’s at 7pm – all are welcome. But the big push is for Pentecost Sunday at 4:00 in the afternoon, where we invite the whole Island to come to the Cathedral for a special ecumenical service involving different musical groups from around the Island, with an opportunity to pray for the coming of God’s Spirit and then to go out into the streets with booklets called ‘God’s Promise to You’ to share his love.
At this time of division in our community, as our political and social realm seems to struggle to hold it together we need a new impetus – a fresh wind to unite us. This is part of a global event, as it is a global problem – and we are praying for the revival not only of the church but the healing of our Land and all nations.
The Right Revd. Nicholas Dill, Bishop of Bermuda
- For more information please contact the Diocesan Office at 292-6987 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.