Word from the Minister

Just a Thought – June 2019

“Suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a violent wind rushing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting, and divided tongues, as if of fire, appeared to them and sat on each single one of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit….”

This is one of the most exciting stories in the New Testament; here we see the Spirit in action with sights and sounds. It is the force with which it is described that thrills and promises new beginnings.

One of my favourite types of weather is the wind; I love feeling its power as I walk; it can either hold me back or push me on faster and sometimes it seems to blow right through me; it is exhilarating yet can be frightening as it pushes you into places you may not want to go and stops you from going to places you want to be. And there in a nutshell is what the Holy Spirit is all about.

As the story of the Spirit unfolds from that day in the upper room it becomes the driving force of those whom it touches. It drives Paul, Peter, Stephen and others on their journey; it inspires them to great speeches about Jesus to everyone they meet; the Spirit held back opposition to allow great wonders, signs and healing that accompanied them and the gospel.

The Spirit then as it does today pushes where it wants to lead and it will hold back that which stops its mission of bringing people to God and inspiring those who are lifted by its mighty power. It was the Spirit that drove the gospel around the Mediterranean world; it was the Spirit that blew from Jerusalem to Rome; it is the Spirit that brought you to wherever you are reading these words today.

Pentecost is a time of great renewal, not only for the church but for our lives too. Look at the passage in Acts 2: 1-4 again, listen to its sounds and feel the God given presence of the Spirit which blows where it will and then be alive to its actions.
Just like the wind that sweeps across the fields, the Spirit will push you into places you thought never possible, and it will stop you from going to places you think you ought to be but the journey will bring new experiences of God and new experiences in your faith in the living Christ.

I leave the ending of this thought to the words of the hymn which asks:-

Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me; Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me; break me, melt me, mould me, fill me; Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me.

May the love of God, the light of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit be a blessing on us all this Pentecost. Amen.

Rev Steve Oliver, Minister