June 2022

5th June                                            Pentecost  ( Whitsunday )                           Acts 2 v. 1-8a,12

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. And when this sound rang out, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking his own language. Astounded and amazed, they asked, “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? How is it then that each of us hears them in his own native language?  Astounded and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

The Holy Spirit has always existed as part of the Holy Trinity (Genesis 1 v. 1-2 )  This account, though describes how the Holy Spirit came upon the waiting disciples in a very special way 50 days after Jesus' Resurrection as He had promised (Luke 24v. 49 ).  The Spirit brought special gifts to enable them to continue Jesus' work on earth as they had been commissioned to do.  The fruits of the Spirit seen in those to whom they have been given are  -  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Not everyone has all the gifts but each person has the gifts they need to do God's work on earth.

Think of some people you know, who are following Jesus.  What special gifts can you discern in them?  What special gifts have you been given?  How can you use them to show the love of God to others?

 

12th June                                 Trinity Sunday                            John 16 v.12 – 15

I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you.

We follow Pentecost with Trinity Sunday when we think of God One God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In the verses you have just read, Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would be sent to them to give them the gifts they would need to fulfil Jesus' command to go out into the world to proclaim God's salvation.  It is, however, in the context of the one God  the Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Read those verses again to see how He does it.

This week, can you see God active in the world  -

                                                   a) as God the Father  -  creating  and sustaining

                                                   b) as God the Son     -  nurturing and saving 

                                                   c) as God the Holy Spirit  -  guiding and encouraging

                                                                                                                                                                                                               19th June                                      Trinity 1                                                   Luke 8 v. 26-29, 37-39

Then they sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothing or lived in a house, but he stayed in the tombs. When the man saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before Him, shouting in a loud voice, “What do You want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You not to torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was bound with chains and shackles, he had broken the chains and been driven by the demon into solitary places. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to depart from them, because great fear had taken hold of them. So He got into the boat and started back. The man whom the demons had left begged to go with Jesus. But He sent him away, saying, “Return home and describe how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and proclaimed all over the town how much Jesus had done for him.

Mental illness, and diseases like epilepsy, were not at all understood in the First Century, so the people thought the sick man was possessed by demons.  Jesus freed the man from a terrible life and we can understand why he wanted to stay with Jesus.  However, following Jesus usually means that we are called to serve Him by showing God's love to the people we meet day by day – just where we are.  Jesus said to His disciples ( and to us ) “I am with you always”  He will stay alongside us wherever we are.

Each evening this week, look back over the day that has passed.  Cn you pinpoint a specific time when you were aware that Jesus was with you?  It is a useful thing to learn how to do and then you will become more and more aware of His continual presence as time goes by.

 

26th  June                                          Trinity 2                                        Luke 9 v. 57 – end.

As they were walking along the road, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” Then He said to another man, “Follow Me.” The man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. You, however, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first let me bid farewell to my family.” Then Jesus declared, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

When Jesus called us all to follow him he meant us to follow his example in the way we live our lives.  However, he never said it would be easy!  In these verses we read that He told his disciples directly and honestly, that following him meant whenever and however he calls us.  He asks for our total commitment – not just when we feel like it!

The way Jesus has called us to follow im is challenging.  Are we up to it?  We shall sometimes fail to rise to his challenge, but Jesus never rejects us.  He just renews the challenge and allows us to try again!

 

 




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