The month of May heralds for us as Christians, the celebration of the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus’ disciples, who had remained fairly huddled together since the resurrection, were suddenly changed… empowered to speak out about Jesus and as a result ‘the church’, was born.
What does this say to us today?
I believe it encourages us to stay together, like the disciples did – that means meeting together, worshipping together, seeking God together. (We are arranging another Prayer Week 5th-12th August).
We need to remain open to change. What would have happened if the disciples had simply ignored the ‘tongues of flame’ and the ‘the sound like the blowing of a violent wind’? Are there things that we are ignoring or dismissing too readily today? (We are trying to develop ideas that will encourage our work with families and children).
We must respond to God. It is important that we don’t just come to church, listen to what we hear and say ‘that was nice’, then return to our ordinary lives. We need to come to church intending to hear God speaking to us – maybe through a hymn/song, a prayer, a Bible verse, a drama, a film clip or a sermon. Maybe we won’t realise what God is saying to us in church… but we will later, when we reflect and ask God for insights.
If you are someone reading this who doesn’t get to church very often – could God be challenging you to come along again? If you feel you are too old or too infirm, don’t give up on God – God hasn’t given up on you. You can still grow in you Christian faith – read your Bible (try Acts of the Apostles Chapters 2), pray (we are producing a monthly Prayer Card that might give you some ideas), speak to your Pastoral Visitor, and if you like knitting…try knitting some small angels (we hope to give these out in the community at Christmas time with a message of hope attached – patterns available).
Perhaps our church will be shaken violently in the coming years – let’s make sure that together we are open to the Holy Spirit and ready for the ride…