This morning’s reflection is not particularly about today’s two readings, but more about God the Spirit as it is Trinity Sunday.
The Trinity message is a hard one to understand. We know God the Father, we have learnt about his son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth as one of us but God, the Holy Spirit? – unseeable? – untouchable? – what do we know of the Spirit? We heard the story of Pentecost and Babel last week and I wonder if maybe we would find and accept the Spirit more easily if something dramatic like that were to happen here today.
How will we know if the Spirit is with us? It’s all questions isn’t it? Perhaps we have expectations of something overwhelming, a sudden unity as described in Acts. If that is our expectation, we are likely to be disappointed, I think. The transformation in the story is an inner one. The crowd was able to listen to the message and understand and the disciples were able to speak the Gospel in a way that all the crowd could catch its meaning.
How often do we listen to God speaking to us through the Spirit? We can introduce so much clutter into our lives and all we do is to build a barrier between us and the spirit’s message. – I’m too busy – I don’t feel too good – too many things on my mind – etc. etc. So we shut God out, or we try to.
The reality of it all is that at any time of crisis we should be doing the opposite – inviting God into our lives knowing that these are exactly the sort of situations where God wants to be there for us. I find it hard to do that – talk about practice what you preach!!
Pentecost is a wonderful season because it encourages us all to think again about the influence of the Spirit in our own lives, about how much we communicate with God, about our own ministries in the world – and yes, every Christian has a ministry. I feel we all learn a lot from each other and only by learning more, can we show that we really are God’s people. The love of God isn’t just something we celebrate on Sundays: the way God wants us to live our lives is the calling that is placed on us all 24-7 (as they say nowadays).
The Spirit flowed through the disciples so that they were able to express themselves without any inhibitions. How do we feel about talking and expressing the truth of the Gospel to others? There are many ways of doing this just as there were many languages at Pentecost. Surely our love of God can be seen in how we live our lives – how we help each other through bad times, rejoice with each other at happy times and comfort one another in the sad times giving love and support when it’s needed – then – with understanding – comes reconciliation to each other and to God.
We have to work through endless conflict and misunderstanding as we live our lives but Pentecost assures us that the Spirit surrounds us.
I like these images of the Holy Spirit – a wind that can blow the cobwebs away from my life, a fire that can take all the rubbish that I throw between me and God and burn it up – and a dove that reminds me that there is no limit to human achievement with God on my side – AND – the still small voice of calm there to care for me when I’m feeling small and vulnerable. The Spirit is with us all the time. If we’re spending time with our families the Spirit is with us. When you look at yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning the Spirit is with you and when we’ve done all that we do in a day and we’ve gone to bed – God is still up.
I’m going to finish off by reading two of my favourite verses in the Bible which were read by Stella.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”