Pentecost 2020 Acts 2 / John 7

Pentecost – Acts 2 / John 7

31/05/20

 

The room where the youth group met in the church where I was a curate, there was poster I have never forgotten.  It said “the Holy Spirit is the comforter of the disturbed, and the disturber of the comfortable”.  And there is something about embracing the presence of the Spirit in our lives which both reassures, comforts, gives security, and unsettles, leads us to contemplate new things, take risks.

 

I’m excited about seeing people move into ordained ministry, because I am excited about ministry.  Ministry is what God calls the whole church to be involved in, sharing in his work in the world.  To be ordained is simply to play one part in that work: to focus, enable, equip and inspire the whole church to continue Jesus’ ministry today.

 

At his ordination, we will pray for Kris -   “send down your Holy Spirit upon Kris for the office and work of a deacon in your church”.  In the same way we need to remind ourselves today that all true ministry is empowered and led by the Holy Spirit.  We are linked today through the internet across historic villages, with historic churches, yet also linked to the movement of the gospel down the centuries which mean we can trace our very existence as Christians back to the day we heard about in Acts 2.  The day the first disciples had waited for, when the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to share the good news of Jesus’ resurrection, that God has come in Jesus to offer forgiveness, a fresh start, new life both now and beyond the grave.

 

When we think about someone getting ordained, it is tempting to consider them special, or particularly brave or holy – if you have met Kris then you will know he would resist such a description of him.  For he knows well that it is not our ability that makes the difference in ministry, it is our availability, our willingness to say yes to God.

 

But I wonder, do you ever look at other Christians who seem to be a bit more secure in their faith than you feel?  Do you ever wish you could feel a bit closer to God?  Do you ever wish you could understand the Bible better, or have a nagging sense that whilst life is good, there might be something more that God has for you?

 

Let Jesus speak to you, this Pentecost Sunday, through the gospel.  Let anyone who is thirsty come to me; and let the one who believes in me drink.  He is speaking about being filled with the Holy Spirit.   There is a prayer which each of us can pray every day which is a prayer that will bring us both the greatest security in our lives, and at the same time is potentially one of the most risky.  “Fill me with your Holy Spirit”. 

Do you want to:

  • Feel more certain about your faith – Fill me…
  • To develop your life of prayer – Fill me…
  • To understand the Bible better – Fill me…
  • To serve others in Jesus’ name – Fill me…

 

The Spirit of God is not a feeling or mood. Like getting into “the spirit of things” at a good party.  The Holy Spirit refers to the very presence and person of God himself.

 

Without the Holy Spirit in our lives, sometimes we can feel like we’re spiritually window shopping when the shops are shut.  We’re on the outside looking in and we can see the products and things we’d love to have, but we can’t get in.  The Holy Spirit is God’s way of giving us the key to the whole precinct of spiritual potential, to be able to see things spiritually from the inside out.  Out of the believers heart shall flow rivers of living water.  This is what it means to be in Christ and for Christ to be in us.  It is to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

So on this Pentecost Sunday, can I encourage you to make this your prayer this week.  Lord fill me with your Holy Spirit.  For we are asking something which will delight God’s heart.  We are asking for his very presence in our lives.  This is not a selfish prayer, for the Spirit of Pentecost is to be blessed by God so we can be a blessing to others.  It is the Spirit of service, of ministry, and it is the Spirit given to all who seek him.

 

It is with the blessing of this Spirit that Kris will be committing himself to you and your benefice very soon.  And as he does so, seek that same blessing, join him in that same ministry, that his example may be not something to stand back and admire, but to join together in, that he may encourage you and you may encourage him, as together you continue the story of God’s good news in Jesus from generation to generation.