Musings from the manse
This week my musings come from the car, as I sit and wait on a hill in Dundee, it’s quite windy and in the distance I can see a flag flying in the breeze, quite apt I thought as I write about Pentecost, when the spirit of God came like a gentle breeze. Very often we think of Pentecost as being the day the Holy Spirit came. The reality is that the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost.
Pentecost was actually the Jewish ‘Spring Harvest’. A time to look forward and pray for God’s provision for the rest of the year. It was a day to celebrate and to pray. A day to look forward to the rich harvest that God willing, was in store.
This explains why Acts chapter two tells us that ‘there were staying in Jerusalem, God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven’. They were there for the festival and it was on that very day that God chose to send the Holy Spirit on the disciples.
The day that was set aside to celebrate the forthcoming harvest, was the day the harvest of souls for God’s kingdom began in earnest. God certainly knows how to time things. That very day about 3000 people were brought home. No wonder Jesus had earlier said to the disciples:
The Harvest is plentiful…. Pray the Lord of the Harvest to send workers in the harvest field.
On the day of Pentecost those workers were equipped by the Spirit, went out into the field and reaped an incredible harvest.
Today – nothing has changed. The harvest is still plentiful, the labourers are still too few, and the same Holy Spirit is still ours! All we need to do is to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, then to go out into the field and who knows what the result will be for the Kingdom of God.
We may not quite be able to literally ‘go out into the fields’ at the moment, the time is coming, lockdowns are easing, life is returning. But whatever is happening in the world around us, and whether we are ready or able to do the things we have missed so much, we can still pray, we can still be generous with our time and money, we can still speak out for justice.
In Galatians chapter six, Paul makes a statement which seems particularly appropriate and apt for the strange times we find ourselves living in. He says ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’
This weekend we will hear once again, bible stories that we will have probably heard many times before, the story of Ezekiel prophesying to the dry bones of Israel (and to us today) and the story of the first church at Pentecost.
It’s up to each one of us to decide: Can we leave our differences at the door and welcome all people to Christ’s table of love and grace? Can we become the Church of that first Pentecost? Will we do whatever it takes to ignite the fire in our bellies that will lead to renewal and revival? Are we willing to do the hard work of change and not just try to spin backward to a pre-pandemic world, something that no longer exists? Just what are we willing to do for the sake of Christ and the gospel we proclaim? What are we willing to do to welcome the Spirit winds that may take us outside our comfort zones?
Thank God that we can count on the indwelling Holy Spirit to keep us going.
Every blessing this Pentecost.
Rev Nik Wooller
23rd May 2021