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Thoughts for Pentecost Sunday

Thoughts for Pentecost Sunday
Acts 2 v 1-21

 

Pentecost – one of many beautiful images of Christian life and faith by Mafa Christians of North Cameroun.

http://www.jesusmafa.com/anglais/pagetprod2.htm

There’s a brilliant word for describing the Holy  Spirit in Greek, it is  ‘parakletos’.

It has a range of meanings which includes counsellor,  advocate, encourager, comforter, and helper.

All of these images can be helpful in our Christian journey. As we live in the world, so God comes along side us through the Holy Spirit- as a good counsellor comes along side their client in therapy.

God helps us understand and make sense of our society and culture, helps us speak out in His name, guides us in all truth, and encourages, comforts and helps us in our times of need.

The passage in Acts also tells us that the Holy Spirit is available to all, and empowers and equips us for the tasks God has planned for each of us. This is still as true today as it was in the time of the apostles.

God power and reality, represented vividly in the Acts account by  tongues of fire,  rest as much on each one of us as it did on them. For those gathered together in Acts 2 it resulted in them speaking in tongues. Much has been written and said about this phenomenon and it is important not to take things out of context. Paul tells us that there are many and varied gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and just as each one of us is different, each one of us has different gifts and ministries to bring to the church.

They may even vary over time. God can and does act in ways that we might describe as supernatural, such as in the gift of tongues or perhaps words of knowledge or prophecy.

When He does so it’s sometimes difficult to understand what’s happening, as it was in Acts. Sometimes it seems as if the supernatural gifts get over emphasised and are given a lot of publicity or their authenticity is questioned. And sometimes it seems that just the reverse is true. Some might say that we don’t emphasis or use God’s supernatural gifts to us enough. The true test should always be whether or not God is at work, and our own experience tells us that it’s not always easy to recognise when and where He’s active!

What we do know is that God acts through the everyday, the normal and the mundane as well as the supernatural. God is God and we shouldn’t try to predict or limit the way in which he might want to operate.

I picked up a quote today whilst at our Diocesan synod in Ely – the topic was the legislation before the Church of England to allow women to become bishops. One speaker said ” God forgive me – but I have seen the Holy Spirit at work in places where he’s no right to be!”

Our role is to stay close to Him so that we can be open to be used by the Holy Spirit in the way that He knows is best for all, using whatever power, gifts and ministries He equips us with.
Whatever way He operates, it’s for the extension of His Kingdom here on earth, as it was in Acts. The inauguration of the new era of the Spirit which Acts 2 describes tells us that all who call on the name of the Lord can and will be saved. As the Holy Spirit comes on us as Christians we are called to be witnesses to this awesome truth. God uses each one of us in His work on earth.

To Him no gifts, ministries or individuals are more valuable than others. All are equally valuable, precious and important. As God continues to break through into our world He uses the power of the Holy Spirit to do so, however unlikely the resources or methods. He even uses a body of fallible believers, with all their shortcomings, and an often imperfect church.

For fifty days we have contemplated the death and resurrection of Jesus, today the church is called to be born in the Holy Spirit and to go out to proclaim the name of Jesus.

May God bless all our endeavours and hopes and plans for our churches, not least this ancient church we are worshipping in today. May be encouraged and guide us in all that he would have us do and be together.

Amen.

June 11, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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