Mat’s June Letter

This time of year is ‘season rich’. We’ve had 40 days of Easter. By the time you read this we’ll have celebrated Ascension and be in (or nearly in) the season of Pentecost.

It’s easy to trip through these seasons without really engaging with the message that they proclaim, to enjoy the story without making connections with our lives. Perhaps each of us should be asking the question; “what does this mean for me/us?”

Easter is the triumph of God’s love over evil and death through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Ascension is the enthronement of Jesus in heaven. Humanity lifted in Jesus to renew our relationship with God. And Pentecost is the sending of the Holy Spirit in power to energise our witness and affirm our relationship with God.

The above may not totally cover all the ‘theological bases’. But then I’m not sure that it is possible to express the riches of God’s love and grace in words. Language is too limiting. God’s riches need to be experienced, dwelt upon, received and shared.

We have been given so much through Easter and Ascension and offered so much through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. I’m not sure that I fully receive all that is offered. Jesus speaks of the power of the Holy Spirit as well as the comforting nature. I wonder if we are more comfortable with the latter than the former.

We’ve recently been challenged by a picture that asked us to put down our umbrellas and receive more of the Holy Spirit of God. This is not an encouragement to have a powerful selfish experience but a call to receive in order to give, witness and live fully in Jesus.

Simon Ponsonby, in his book ‘More’(1), writes that

“All the great Western thinkers … spoke of the Holy Spirit as personified love between Father and Son, sent as a gift to unite us in love to God, to one another, and in love embrace the world with the gospel.”

What a gift! Have we fully received it?

Mat

(1)page 28, published in 2009 by David C Cook, previously published by Kingsway Communications 2004

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