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Church News Volume 1, Issue 11

Dear friends,

On the Day of Pentecost the disciples of Jesus were gathered together behind closed doors. They were afraid of the outside world. How were they to fulfill Jesus' wish to take the Gospel message out to other people? As a group they were comfortable together talking about their faith in Jesus but how would they be received in society? They lacked confidence, determination, and would prefer to stay put in their holy huddle.

How like the church of today this picture can be!

But Jesus was faithful to His promise that He would send from Heaven the promised Comforter, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit came upon the disciples suddenly. Their experience was variously described as though taken over by the rush of a mighty wind, as tongues of flames on each of their heads warming their souls. Courage, confidence, and joy filled that group and enabled them to go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel message in word and in deed.

We too need the Holy Spirit to enable us to come out of our churches with confidence, to be a more effective force for the Lord in our daily lives.

Another important aspect of the power of the Holy Spirit was that, all those to whom God spoke through the Spirit at work in the disciples, heard His word to them in their own language. The religious language of the Jerusalem Temple was not the only language of the Almighty. But God was seen to be speaking to people each in his/her own tongue.

How often we confuse in our churches the importance of keeping safe the traditions of the past, with the belief that God can only speak to us in language of past generations. The Holy Spirit is the power of God in our own age, in our daily language, and although the beautiful and poetic language of years past has an important role to play in the worship of the church today we must not try to limit God's Word by its exclusive use. The Church of England has produced a new prayer book which will come into force on Advent Sunday 2000. Common Worship will reflect the moving of the Holy Spirit in the Church today with services traditional in language and form, alongside more contemporary language and styles of worship. This is an important time for us to introduce new forms of worship in our Benefice churches, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to those in our parishes in our services of public worship in a language they will understand.

Let us make for our own the prayer of St Nerses of Clajes;

Holy Spirit of God, who came upon our Lord Jesus Christ at the River Jordan, and upon the disciples at Pentecost; in Your mercy give light to our minds and purity to our hearts; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

Rev'd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011