Sharing God's Love
So – moving on from last month’s issue featuring Easter, the events and changes that arise from that momentous day, we are now like the disciples, left wondering ‘what’s next? – it’s a long time until Christmas!’ The build up and excitement over. Easter is now long gone and life seems to return to the old rhythm – with maybe exams, new babies, new homes etc. thrown in!
But the disciples had lost their beloved Jesus, leader and mentor, following the day he finally ascended into Heaven (Ascension Day which we remember on 30th May). Now they had mixed emotions, but mainly must have felt bereft and wondering if it was all true; had their minds played tricks on them for the last 3 years? Mostly they returned to their jobs of fishing etc and their families. BUT Jesus had told them to go and spread his message – of love, healing, repentance and baptism. Yes, he told them to Baptise in his name to all nations – the world.
But clearly they were feeling flat and that the power and excitement had gone from their lives. Jesus had also told them that he would send them a ‘helper’ – but in what guise? Another Jesus? No – the promised ‘helper’ was to be the Holy Spirit, the almighty and powerful Spirit that was with God in the beginning at creation, that same Spirit that is at work all the time, acting for and with God. This Spirit was to help them in a powerful way in their joint mission to spread the word and to call everyone to believe.
When the Holy Spirit did come (Pentecost) – it was a very profound and even pretty scary event; we read in the Bible that tongues of fire could be seen on people’s heads, languages from far and wide were spoken and understood by all. POWER happened in a very big way. Lives changed and the Christian Church was born. Over 2000 years ago and contrary to reports in the press, it is still not dying, but flourishing, alive and well.
We remember and wait as the disciples did, over the 10 days from Ascension Day to Pentecost for the power of the Holy Spirit to revisit us in the same way – to help and empower all believers to hear, understand and spread God’s word and love again. During this 10 day period we focus on prayer. This is called a Novena and the whole Diocese of Canterbury and all Churches beyond will join in with this as we look for the energy of revival.
Perhaps you are simply looking for energy and revival for yourself, but I do urge you to join in with some extra prayer for a real presence of the power of the Holy Spirit here in our lives and in Marden – for us all to hear, see and feel the power of God’s work and love as He calls us to believe in him. There are resources available to help on the dresser inside the Church – prayers and booklets to take without cost. Please do.
This month we remember D Day as well – we look back and whilst we grieve over the loss of life, we can also give thanks to God, for those who survived and for the bravery of many including civilians.
In this village we smile and greet each other as we pass, lets keep this up as we spread the love and peace of God around.
Happy Birthday to the Church!