R.S. Thomas’s poem “The Kingdom” gives a very lovely image of the possibilities of a world where Christ is in charge.

It’s a long way off but inside it
There are quite different things going on:
Festivals at which the poor man
Is king and the consumptive is
Healed; mirrors in which the blind look
At themselves and love looks at them
Back; and industry is for mending
The bent bones and the minds fractured
By life.

The Archbishops have encouraged us all to mark the time between Ascension Day and Whitsun this year by having a week in which we focus on praying for God’s kingdom. It seems to me to be a good thing to do, not only because it is what Jesus taught us to do in the Lord’s Prayer, but also it keeps our hearts and minds focused on the source of all that is love in our lives. In turn we should become more loving people. This is not something that we ourselves do, but by setting time aside to still and purposefully surrender ourselves to the presence of God, enables Him to work in us, transforming, sustaining and healing us.

To help this process we will be giving away plastic cased votive candles, on the Sunday before Ascension Day (Sunday 21st May at our services). They should last for 24 hours, more than enough time to be lit each day and mark your time of prayer. Please use them sensibly remembering that they are naked flames. By doing this you will be opening yourself to what I believe is the heart of the universe, not us, but God who came to us in Christ Jesus. Try it please.

It’s a long way off, but to get
There takes no time and admission
Is free, if you purge yourself
Of desire, and present yourself with
Your need only and the simple offering
Of your faith, green as a leaf.

A Very Happy Easter to you all