Sherwood Oxley Anglican
St John's, California Road, Oxley
St Matthew's, corner Oxley & Sherwood Road, Sherwood
This page is a place to get a reflection on the readings and to share thoughts from a point of faith.
I do not have the answers just thoughts on the Pilgrimage of faith. Hope my thoughts add to your Pilgimage.
Yours in Christ
28 May 2023
Well I missed publishing last week, my apologies. This week is Pentecost and lead us into the last of the Triune Festivals for the Holy Spirit. Do you know what Holy Spirit means? Holy means set apart for God, spirit means essence of the original, so it means the essence of God.
We read of this passage as a preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit, in it the Holy Spirit flows out like living water. The Spirit will fill a person like food and water. This means that Pentecost was not just a revelation of God, but those who were there were filled and it flowed out of them to feed others. This idea set a response from the people, which was due to the Holy Spirit being silent, as Jesus was the presence of God to the people. How important the Spirits part in the ability to see, hear and understand God's message.
In this reading we see the events on the day the Holy Spirit descended on the people in mass. This is interesting because in John's Gospel Jesus enters the room greets them with the peace and then after acknowledging him, Jesus breaths the Holy Spirit into them. now Luke suggests that it happened on this special Day. In trying to understand this I believe that both are true and important for our life in the Spirit.
First, people look at the events on the day, but why did it happen that way? I have never seen this, and I can say that I hoped it would happen to me. The reason was I wanted to know I had received the Holy Spirit. It took me ages to feel confident (to believe) the Holy Spirit was in me.
So, I believe the events of that day were a physical manifestation to achieve a purpose, to help people understand the Holy Spirit was real at a time where it was unique.
Second, I have wondered about speaking in tongues. Some denominations believe that when you receive the Holy Spirit you will start speaking in tongues, but I didn't or at least I wasn't sure. The other thing is everyone heard them speaking in their own tongues. I have asked myself, is it that they spoke in another tongue, or did they hear in their own tongues? I mean if two different people speaking two different languages hear a person speaking in their language, wouldn't that mean that it was about the ears rather than the tongues. Either way, it had a function for sharing the message on that day.
Third, I do not believe that everyone that was filled with the Holy Spirit on that day and was guided by the Holy Spirit on that day, stayed in that state. I believe Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to the disciples in the room and that it moved mightily on the day of Pentecost and that it continued to move as the people opened themselves to its guidance.
On this day we marvel at the power of the Holy Spirit on this day and remember what The Holy Spirit can do. We should also acknowledge our own journey with the Holy Spirit and remember that we revisit it anew whenever we seek to open ourselves to God.
1 Corinthians 12.1–13
Paul writes to the Corinthians about Spiritual Gifts. I will ask this question many times, do you know the difference between a fruit and a gift? A fruit is grown, and a gift is given. So, the fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control, are all fruits, because we grow them with help of the Holy Spirit. The gifts are many and are given when we will use then and need them. As Paul points out, All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.'' (1 Cor 12:11). This tells us that the gift is not a result of being filled by the Spirit, but given in accordance to the communities need.
What gifts have we been given?
What gifts do we need?
Do they flow like a river?
Do they feed others?