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Julia’s Newsletter for May 2016

Be Connected to the Power source

“If the alive and present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bring you alive to himself. “ Romans 8: 10   The Message

So after the 50 days of celebrating Easter and The Risen Life, here we are again waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. I have to confess that compared to writing about God, the Father and Jesus, the Son, I’ve always found the person and work of the Holy Spirit much harder to come to grips with and talk about. I know the feel of the Spirit and I see the Spirit at work, but I find it more difficult
to talk about. I suppose that’s something to do with the mystery of the being herself and the depth and breath of the experience, that makes you end up talking more in metaphor than anything else. The early biblical writers seemed to find the same thing. They talked of Spirit as life, and drew their pictures from nature. So God’s Spirit hovers over the earth and brings forth creation brimming with life. In the same way, she is also understood as wind, invisible and uncontainable, the very breath of
life that God breathes into his creation.

Another picture that crops up regularly is that of water, for without water life cannot exist. Ezekiel describes a river that flows from the Temple, where God’s presence dwells. The trees that line its bank bear lush fruit and the water brings life and health (Ezekiel 47).

The other symbol of course of this life force is fire. We read that as gold is purified in a furnace so God’s Spirit purifies the human heart making it capable of pure love. St John of the Cross, talks about this flame wounding the soul, in its deepest centre, with compassion.

I’m taking a baptism service at Highlands on Sunday, and I have read again this morning of Jesus symbolically receiving the Holy Spirit before he embarked on his public ministry. He allowed something to happen to him. He got connected to the source of life. As I think of my computer coming to life, when it’s connected to the mains, so the life that can animate us spiritually is divine. I think of Jesus receiving the first installment, if you like, at his baptism, which enabled him to wrestle and then step out in his mission.

Jesus the person lived for 33 years and embarked on his God given mission for the last 3 years of his life. But the Risen Jesus, holy and anointed one, lives on through his body of believers for all time. The power supply is permanently switched on, as the Holy Spirit coming from the Father through Jesus the Son, continues to work in the church and the world, bringing in the end all creation to new birth, which leads to resurrection life.

Some of my most favourite poetic reading on the Spirit comes from the Book of Wisdom and I offer it to you here so that you might be built in faith.

All that is hidden, all that is plain, I have come to know, instructed by Wisdom who designed them all ……

There is in her a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all‐powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle.

For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;
Because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.
For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness                                                             Wisdom 7: 21 – 22, 25 -26

Rev Julia