Exploring the Sunday Gospel - Seventh Sunday of Easter


Today is the Seventh Sunday of Easter and the Sunday after Ascension Day. The reading
from John’s Gospel concludes Jesus’ Farewell Discourse with his disciples over the last
supper before Jesus goes out to face his arrest. In this chapter Jesus looks forward with
confidence to returning to the Father. The key word for John in this passage is ‘glory’. What
John expresses in this Farewell Discourse, Luke symbolises through the Ascension which
links the closing of Luke’s Gospel with the opening of the Acts of the Apostles. The
Ascension, or Jesus’ coming to the Father, is seen as his enthronement. The Ascension is
also kept as the feast of the enthronement of Christ as King.

For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during
the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of royal crowns to capture the idea of
enthronement. Today’s picture draws on Gary Bunt’s painting where Bert and his dog
visualise the enthronement of Jesus in Luke’s frame of the Ascension.

Risen and ascended Christ,
we proclaim you to be our king.
Give us grace,
that we may serve you
all the days of our lives;
for you are the king of glory,
now and always.

Next Sunday is Pentecost or Whit Sunday, the Feast that celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit
that came to the apostles with a sound like a might rushing wind. The image to help prepare
for the theme of Pentecost is wind. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the
Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.

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