1 Jun 2019 • Articles
It’s June already! We are at the midpoint of the year when the day light hours are at their longest. Most of the school exams are over and our youngsters can feel a little sense of relaxation from the rigours of their academic studies. People are preparing for their Summer break, a time to relax and enjoy some down time away from work.
However, in our churches there’s a lot going on! It is a time of celebration in all kinds of ways, but particularly on two counts. Firstly, it is the season of Pentecost and I was musing on the thought of flaming June, thinking initially about the weather, but my mind then went to other flames…those of the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost bringing them gifts of preaching and discernment, interpretation and healing. It’s through the power of the Holy Spirit that the previously tongue tied Peter. He preached his best sermon ever and three thousand people were converted and became followers of Jesus!
Pentecost is often known as the churches birthday, so Happy Birthday to you all as followers of Jesus! We are descended right from those first disciples and three thousand converts and to recall that event we will be having our own birthday party in the form of an Area Service at Leigh; all of us following in footsteps of those first converts!
Pentecost has its origin in the Jewish harvest festival known as the Day of the First Fruits and like for those three thousand it was the beginning of God’s harvest of our souls. In that respect God is like a farmer with the world as his farm in which he’s growing people who’ll one day inhabit the kingdom of heaven, gathering us in as part of his harvest.
Secondly, we are celebrating the ordination to the Priesthood, Lucinda, the Area Curate. She will be priested on 22nd June and then the next day to preside at a service of Holy Communion for the first time. Congratulations!
The thing is that through these celebrations it’s clear that God doesn’t do all the harvesting all by himself, he employs farmer workers to bring in the harvest of souls on his behalf, that’s you and me folks! It can be a very humbling experience to see the fruits of his creation grow in each of us, not just those who are the upfront people, but each one of us. It’s up to each one of us to show and tell and to gossip the gospel. No I don’t think that there’s an expectation of each of us converting three thousand people, but it’s a nice thought!
So here’s the challenge: when was the last time you spoke to someone who wasn’t part of the Christian community about your faith in God or Jesus? Yes it is a challenge but as at the first Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit is there to guide, support and to encourage us. Just look at Peter he was an ordinary bloke, who did some extraordinary things through the power of the Holy Spirit.
So in this season of Pentecost let’s thank God for:-
- the great harvest of souls he’s reaping all over the world
- for the first fruits of those first three thousand converts who founded the church
- for the church you’ve experienced in the Area of Uttoxeter
- for the first fruits of your own harvesting, those children and adults who’ve learnt of God’s love through all that you are
- above all thank God for the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and encouragement bringing that possibility of entering God’s heavenly barns for the great harvest..
Charles Dale OLM