Hilary’s reflection for Pentecost

Acts Chapter 2 vs 1-21

“Breathing New Life In to Our Lives”

Our focus this morning is on Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  But I am thinking more this morning about the reality of our own lives, when we can sometimes lose our enthusiasm, we may feel tired even burned out, nothing left to give, the spark may have gone out of our lives.  I would think each one of us here this morning  may have felt like that at some point during the many months since March 2020 when we closed our church doors, and then went on to live through lockdown and the pandemic, not seeing friends and family, wondering what was going to happen, where would it all end?

I know I have, and never more so than one day quite recently, when I felt as if walls were closing in on me, was too much was being asked of me? There was new Government Legislation, Synod, the problems of our Church Buildings and the bigger problems of the wider church, I didn’t know which way to turn, I was tired, and this was just on one day!  Just like the Disciples I wanted to hide away and say ‘No More’, my fire was definitely just an ember at the end of that one particular day.  Where had that thirst for life gone, all that enthusiasm, the joy of getting up in the morning to face a new day, to deal with the challenges that daily life brings?

The character,  Richard Gere played in the film “Shall We Dance”, was a successful lawyer, (good looking, of course) he had a beautiful wife and home, everything anyone could possibly want, but the spark had gone out of his life, he was bored with the life that he had, then one night on the way home from work he passes a Dance Studio and sees the Instructor played by Jennifer Lopez giving dancing lessons, his heart skips a beat at the sight of her and unbeknown to his wife he starts to take dancing lessons and to cut a long story short his spark for life is rekindled.

We can, or may even have felt the way that Richard Gere’s character felt, is there too much clutter in our lives, too much going on in our lives, too much being asked of us, too much being done by too few, family problems, ill health, the loss of loved ones, financial problems, when will this all end, when will things return to normal, in whatever form that will take, so  it is easy to see just how we can begin to lose heart quite easily and feel that flame of faith begin to grow dim

So what can we do when our fire begins to grow dim or even grow cold, we need to re-ignite that ember, can anyone remember seeing their parents, or even doing it themselves, holding a newspaper in front of an open fire to re-kindle the flames, sometimes the newspaper even caught on fire? That is what we need to do; we need to re-ignite ourselves, we must not let the fire go out within us.

Can we imagine just what it would have been like if we had been with the Disciples in that upper room the morning of Pentecost? Luke says there were 120 people gathered together both men and women, all scared wondering what to do next, still grieving for their friend and teacher, how would we have reacted to hearing that ‘mighty wind’, and feeling the ‘tongues of fire’ and then to receive the Holy Spirit, would we have been scared or on fire to get up and go and do something?

But we weren’t there with the Disciples, so how can we today rekindle that flame before it goes out of us? Do we need to perhaps go back to basics, and take a little time out of our busy lives to spend time with God each day, read our bibles, may be use study aids as I know some of us do, should we pray a little more or even just sit quietly and ‘BE’, be in His presence, and then perhaps say to God:

Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew

That I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me breath of God, Till I am wholly thine

Till all this earthly part of me

Glows with thy fire divine.  Amen

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