Bishop Steven asked a question last Sunday, on Pentecost: “how much help do we need to live the Christian life?” God has given all of us a commission to help to change the world. The mission of the church is the mission of Christ to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom. God has entrusted us with a big mission, with a life of love and holiness and to be transformed from the inside out. So how much help do we need to live the Christian life and how much help does God think that we need? We simply can’t do this on our own. We cannot change anything about ourselves and left to ourselves we can’t change very much about the world and that’s why Jesus teaches his disciples so much about the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate and Comforter. God is not leaving us on our own: Jesus will send the Spirit to live in our hearts through faith to make us alive to bring strength and power and love to all we seek to do. I need to ask for that help every single day for the breath to fill me afresh with love and joy and peace to help me to be a channel of God’s peace. Let us join together in making this ancient prayer of just three words: “Come Holy Spirit”.
Pentecost marks a particular point in the Christian year: for six months from Advent Sunday to Pentecost we have been retelling the great story of salvation from creation to the incarnation, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. We are now at the beginning of what the church calls ordinary time, the six months where we focus on God’s mission in our generation in the life of the church and in the world today. We don’t want the next six months to be ordinary time, rather we want them to be an extraordinary time: a time of regathering, of rekindling the fire of God in the hearts of our communities, nursing them back to health, of the rebuilding of the Church of God calling many people to new ministries and many people to faith. Pray that ordinary time will be an extraordinary time: we simply need to remember to pray each day “Come Holy Spirit” and invite God by his spirit to breathe his life into all that we are together. Let’s be able to look back when we get to Advent and say “that was an extraordinary time!” Come holy spirit and fill the hearts of your people and make this an extraordinary time. (With thanks to Bishop Steven).
My prayers for all in our fellowship as you face extraordinary opportunities to respond to God’s call to mission, during the coming months of vacancy.