Readings for Easter 6:
Monday: Acts 16:11-15; Psalm 150:1-6, 9; John 15:26-16:4
Tuesday: Acts 16:22-34; Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8; John 16:5-11
Wednesday: The Feast of the Ascension is being kept Wednesday—Friday
Thursday: Readings can be found on page 25 of the yellow Eastertide Booklet
Saturday: Acts 18:23-26; Psalm 47; John 16:23-28
Life seems to get more ‘normal’ by the minute – social distancing seems almost to have vanished and we have discovered the joys of literally eating out. The transformation of some places has been amazing, some are more basic (and windy) but there is now a general ‘good’ feeling. Nonetheless, of course, Covid-19 has not gone away and new hotspots seem to be popping up. In other countries the situation is far more serious and we continue to hold them in our prayers.
By tomorrow we should have a good idea of how the new Welsh government is going to look (though only 45% voted in Bridgend Borough). Whoever it is faces an unenviable task in trying to re-start our economy and right the many wrongs in social structure and infrastructure which is their domain. They too will need our prayers.
The Archbishop of Wales retired this week (did you notice?) and so now there will be an election for a new bishop of Swansea & Brecon (notionally any baptised adult over 30) and then a new Archbishop will be elected in due course.
More locally we now know that our new un-named Ministry Area, led by Fr Jonathan from January 2022, will be Newton Nottage, Porthcawl, Pyle & Kenfig and Kenfig Hill, the parish of Margam going west to Port Talbot. The bishop is looking for a lay chairperson for the new grouping, so please let me know if you are interested (and under 75) .
Easter 6 used to be known as ‘Rogation Sunday’ a day of prayer for the blessing of farms and crops and all who produce and make our food. This continues in our prayers on Monday and Tuesday. Porthcawl has the sea on one side and farms on the other so this is important for us because we are given the opportunity to see the success (or failure) of the crops and livestock we see whichever way we leave the town and can appreciate the hard work this entails.
Easter 6 is also, of course, the Sunday before Ascension Day, which we are spreading over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to reach the largest number of worshippers. The fearful, locked-in disciples of Easter day are by now people transformed and trusted, ready to carry our the command to share the Good News throughout the world. They still have faults, they still have doubts and misunderstandings – they are still like us -but God gives them (and us) his trust. So like them we have a Gospel to proclaim.
May God’s good grace enable us to fulfil his trust in us.
Tomorrow I begin my 30th year as your parish priest. I thank you for all you have given me in the last 29!
Only twelve were called,
Fishermen, a tax collector and such,
common men they were,
called by a carpenter.
Braggart, doubter, deserter,
fearful men they were,
And yet they changed the world.
What are your faults?
They are many.
I know them well.
They are mine.
And yet — perhaps,
if we hear our call,
and follow — together,
we, too, can change the world.