Thursday, 22 December 2011

Journeying with Mary Day Twenty Six

Day Twenty Six - Thursday 22nd December 2011

Acts 1:6-10, 1:12-14 and 2:1-3
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

These passages from Acts, probably written by Luke, detail the ascension and coming of the holy spirit at Pentecost.  There is no mention of Mary being present at the ascension, but as with the resurrection this does not mean she was not there.  However she is back in the accounts in the room in Jerusalem, where they went after the ascension, when the Holy Spirit came and filled them.  Mary was one of the group that were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues; she was one of those we remember at Pentecost.

These verses in Acts are fascinating because they also refer to "the women", pointing to the fact that there were women in the circle of those forming the new church.  Although they were not individually named, as the men are, they were clearly there.  This is a continuation of the value of women in the ministry of Jesus and in the early church.

Mary was there at the birth and death of Jesus and there when the Holy Spirit filled those who were to start the Christian church; Mary was and is essential to our faith.

Prayer of the Day
Father God. as we leave Mary at Pentecost, the last known detail of her life, we thank you for her calling and her ability to follow you where she was needed.  We ask today that you help us do whatever you need us to and to know that we are called just as we are.  Amen.

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