Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Weeks, Harvest, Law, Spirit and Joy

Readings for Pentecost, 27th May 2012, can include  Acts 2:1-21; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 104:24-35; Romans 8:22-27; John 15:26-27; 16:-4-15

The last few days of the Easter season are filled with high points.
The Ascension (on Day 40) is really a great expression of God's desire to trust humanity
to be agents of grace and goodness (see the previous post)
This week we celebrate Pentecost which is the 50th Day after Easter.
In the Jewish tradition it is called Shavuot (sometimes called the Feast of Weeks) and is essentially a great Harvest Festival
The Jewish religious tradition holds that this is the day God gave the Law (the Torah) 
to Moses
So it is a day full of possibility, optimism and hope.
The Christian events of that day are described in Acts 2
The early disciples would have been in the Temple for this great festival.
 What  happens at  Pentecost is of great significance 
because it prepares us for our life as Christians
the gift of the Holy Spirit to the faithful and expectant disciples
is the gift of the Father to live the life that Jesus, the Word of God calls us to live.
It is "become what you receive!"
The Body of Christ for the world and for the love and worship of God.

The readings talk of many things:
    Life being breathed into what looks as though it is dead
And each of these deserves its own individual treatment.
Indeed this demonstrates to us that the Holy Spirit is not a quick fix...
but is about God dealing with us comprehensively and completely.
Why would we expect anything else?
This is about the whole of our life and the whole of the world.
Indeed a prayer we often pray is 

Come Holy Sprit and renew your whole creation
So often we seem to think that God is just dealing with my little patch
It is about "the whole creation"
It is also about God dealing with us deeply
and not just tinkering in a titillating or superficial way.

This JOY that the Spirit brings
which is so evident in the Acts of the Apostles 
each time the Holy Spirit is encountered
is not merely an amusement or an entertainment 
it is about the absolute delight and sense of privilege 
that we know in being caught up in the mystery of what God has been doing 
since before the foundation of the world.
It is perhaps the surest sign of the Spirit’s activity in our lives.

Where do you experience the deepest joy in your life?
It is a challenging question.
So often we mistake amusement for joy
yet often joy is about difficult stuff
about working through the challenging issues of life
and realising that although we are often confronted with danger, struggle, weakness
that the Joy that the Spirit brings transforms our life

This week
●Where has God given you the greatest JOY
●How can I nurture this?
●What is God inviting me to be, know and do, by this active power and presence of the Spirit?

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