Daily Devotion 01 June 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Acts 2:1-4 ‘The Coming of the Holy Spirit’

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…

Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, the day when God gave life to the disciples by sending the Holy Spirit. They were leaderless and visionless…basically moping around. Suddenly, ‘like the blowing of a violent wind’, God the Holy Spirit showed up and changed everything.

When I lived in Yorkshire, we used to enjoy a trip to the seaside at Skeggie where the wind was bracing! Maybe you’ve seen John Hassall’s iconic poster of the jolly fisherman, ‘Skegness is SO Bracing’. I once met the Mayor of Skegness and he was so proud of their air he presented me with a can of it – I still have it – maybe I’ll open it one day when I’m feeling jaded and need bucking up.

Sometimes it’s hard to say what some things are, but we know what they do. The preacher Dr Henry Jowett asked an old sailor to explain the movement of the wind that propelled his ship? The sailor said, ‘I don’t know anything about the wind, but I can hoist a sail.’ We may not be able to define or explain the Holy Spirit, but we can experience the Spirit’s power. That’s what happened to Jesus’ friends at Pentecost – they were jaded, dull and lifeless. Suddenly, God came to them like a breath of fresh air to wake them up and give them new life, joy and purpose.

It’s a message throughout the Bible, like in the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel that we had in the Devotions last week. In a dream, Ezekiel sees a valley strewn with dry bones. God asks him, ‘Can these bones live?’ The obvious answer is ‘No way!’ Yet God makes a promise: ‘I will raise my people. I will put my Spirit within you and you shall live.’ Israel was scattered and exiled, but Ezekiel said that Israel would rise from captivity and return to their own land. And that’s exactly what happened.

While many situations look hopeless, with God’s Spirit in action, the most desolate, depressing realities in life can be transformed. For people who feel in need of a new start, who want their cares to be lifted, this is a liberating word…ours is a God who breathes hope into the most desperate situation. Let’s never leave him out of our reckoning.

Prayer:
Wind of God, dynamic Spirit, breathe upon our hearts today;
that we may your power inherit, hear us Saviour as we pray:
fill the vacuum that enslaves us – emptiness of heart and soul;
and through Jesus Christ who saves us, give us life and make us whole.

by Michael Saward

Reflection, image of can © 2020 Howard John.
‘The Jolly Fisherman’ from https://www.skegness.gov.uk/jolly-fisherman.html and used in accordance with their terms and conditions.
StF 400 words: © Michael Saward / Jubilate Hymns.

A printable version of this Daily Devotional can be downloaded from here
All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356