My Pentecost hangover!
I hope someone else is suffering from a spiritual hangover today after a Pentecost celebration in which we were filled with the Spirit. People will think you are drunk if you are sharing crazy visions, impossible dreams and prophesying future happenings — but, don’t worry, it will be the Spirit that has been poured into you.
I prefer the thought of the Spirit being poured INTO people rather than ON them. I would rather be FILLED with the Spirit than SOAKED in the Spirit, but either would be better than neither! Perhaps we could have caught the Spirit in a bucket as it was being poured upon us like rain from heaven and then drank and filled ourselves. Without the Spirit our faith is like a car with no engine or, at least, with no petrol. The Holy Spirit provides energy to the Word of life and without it (her) we are parked up and going nowhere.
I am probably giving you a window into my message for next Sunday when it is Trinity Sunday and as much as we believe in the Word of our Father and the Love of the Son without the power of the Spirit our ministry will achieve very little.
Language and imagery however, all need to be put into context and although we must FILL UP with the Spirit to move on God can also POUR OUT the Spirit to refresh and help new life grow. FILL UP and then POUR OUT would seem to be a powerful ministry so God POURS OUT so that we can FILL UP! Before we can be filled there is a wind that blows away the dust and cobwebs of our history and flames that burn away the weeds and deadwood that prevent our growth, followed by the Spirit that comes down like water from heaven to help new life grow.
I can imagine God with a big watering can pouring the living waters on to creation with the Spirit of refreshment, but I believe that I am (you are) the watering can that must be filled before anything can be poured. So I am letting the wind and fire get rid of what I don’t need so that there is room for me to be filled with the Spirit that is so out of this world my dreams and visions will seem like nonsense to everyone who hears me.
I’m sorry if you don’t understand what I have written, but I’m still under the influence of the Spirit that was poured out yesterday and I drank too much of it — if you can ever have too much of something so good! Give me more so that I can always be full and share so that we can get drunk together!
Martin Henninger sent greetings to all his friends in Broadway from Germany last night when we met him on a URC/Pfalz Communion service for Pentecost.
When we celebrate the life of Mavis Payne this afternoon people will be invited to support her grandson, Ashley, who will be running in the London Marathon in October to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Originally inspired by his nan, Ashley is now going to run in her memory. Many have already donated to the cause, but if anyone would like to give, please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ashpayne.