Minty’s June Letter

A few weeks ago, when those powerful winds were sweeping across the country, I was standing on a hillside in Devon. All around me grass, plants and trees were buffeted, being tossed about and bending in the wind’s force. There was a raw wildness in the air. I could hear the wind’s sound and feel its incredible power against my body. As I stood there I found myself thinking about the power of the Holy Spirit, of the Spirit’s wildness and contrasting gentleness.

In John’s Gospel (in John 14-15Open Link in New Window) we read Jesus’ words promising his disciples the gift or coming of an Advocate, a helper, the Holy Spirit. At his ascension he tells them to wait for this (Acts 1:4-5Open Link in New Window). He speaks of the Spirit of truth who will teach them, remind them of all he has said and guide them.

Sometimes icons or pictures of the Holy Spirit’s coming can seem rather static or tame. Yet in Acts 2Open Link in New Window we read of “a sound like the rush of a violent wind” and fire. The coming of the Spirit was incredibly powerful and transformative, driving the disciples out of hiding to speak the truth about Jesus so that others might believe.

At Pentecost, when the crowds ask what they should do, Peter, filled with the Spirit, says, “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ… and you will received the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you… and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” This is as true for us as for those early disciples. We are given a helper to lead us into truth, teach us, guide us, enable and empower us. The Holy Spirit helps us, prays for us when we are unable to pray (Romans 8:26Open Link in New Window) and works within us transforming us (Romans 12:2Open Link in New Window; Galatians 5:22-23Open Link in New Window). However, sometimes, especially when we feel distant from God, low or powerless, it’s easy to forget that we’re not alone, we have this gracious and powerful helper. Paul encourages us to “pray in the Spirit at all times” (Ephesians 6:18Open Link in New Window) for others and ourselves. So, as the Church grapples with challenging contemporary issues and events, and as we enter a new phase in St Matt’s life next month, lets take hold of all we are promised and given to live and speak out the truth about Jesus and God’s Kingdom.

Minty

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