Imagine the first Pentecost… That fearful band of followers of Jesus. Their beloved leader who was put to death, rose three days later and spent the next 50 days seemingly popping in and out of situations, still preaching, teaching and healing. And then he ascended into heaven. Gone away again.
And then there was Pentecost… the day when the power of the Holy Spirit passed from Jesus’ presence to the disciples. The day when the Holy Spirit came in a way that they could scarcely describe… a rushing wind… tongues of fire touching each one of them… and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit… and began to speak and hear in other languages… as the Spirit gave them ability. And the church was born…
Are you ready for the Holy Spirit to blow through you? Are you ready for the Holy Spirit to blow through this place? Are you ready to be so filled that there is no room for fear and anxiety about our future? Are you ready to let that wind and fire transform and inspire you?
Jesus’ followers weren’t changed by their own power. That change came through the power of the Holy Spirit. And that is important for us to remember… we are only the instruments through which the Holy Spirit blows. We are not the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ followers were no longer dependent on his physical presence… they kept him alive by gathering people together, sharing the stories and breaking bread together. And those people did the same… until more than 2000 years later we do the same… we gather the people, we share the stories of faith and we break the bread…
Faith is my ‘f’ word this week!
Last week I was at the Annual Meeting of Maritime Conference.It was a rich time…
- A time to reconnect with colleagues from across the Conference.
- A time to be nourished by the creativity and faith of the worship team.
- A time to be challenged by the faith of our theme speaker, the Rev. John Pentland.
- A time to respond in faith to an invitation to leadership.
- A time to be inspired by the faith of those who were either retiring or celebrating a milestone in ministry. 1000 years of ministry in the room that night.
- A time to be energized by the faith of the youth.
- A time to renew my ordination vows, made in faith 13 years ago, just as Mary Lynne Whyte did here.
- And a time to be totally blown away by the sermon that outgoing president, the Rev. Catherine Stuart preached.
The Holy Spirit was present, our common faith was present. The church is alive!
Thanks be to God for the challenge and opportunity of being the church. Amen.