Daily Devotion 25 May 2021

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 1:14 and 2:1-4 ‘The Coming of the Holy Spirit’

14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

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 and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

In my childhood, my mother started preparing well in advance for our summer holidays. First of all my father would get a large metal trunk from the loft and then, for a month before we were due to go away, every time our clothes were washed and ironed they were carefully folded and placed into the trunk. By the day before we travelled, we were left with nothing to wear but what we stood up in. When we went to bed that night, my siblings and I knew that while it was still dark and we were still half asleep, all four of us would be bundled into the car to continue sleeping again – and once we woke up properly we would be well on our way to our holiday destination. I remember that waiting time, while our mother prepared things, was a time of great excitement.

I’m sure it was a time of great excitement too for the disciples, after Jesus ascended into heaven. They had been given a job to do and promised the power with which to do it. Some of Jesus’ last words were still ringing in their ears, “You will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” We can learn a lot from their first action. We’re told “they were constantly devoting them-selves to prayer.” They had to prepare themselves for the task ahead. They had to wait on power, direction, and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Their prayerfulness was rooted in their trust in Jesus, and they waited expectantly for the coming of the Holy Spirit. In obedience to Jesus’ command they waited in joyful anticipation for the promised baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The book of Acts begins with the Church being formed. And it turns out the Church is formed by waiting and prayer, by power from the Holy Spirit, and guidance from God. It’s no different today – God’s people are still to be a praying people, waiting expectantly for God’s guidance and the power of the Spirit. As Emmanuel, we must be prayerful, like those first disciples so that whenever God’s guidance comes we are prepared, ready to carry out his work in the world.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus,
May we constantly devote ourselves to prayer – as the disciples did –
to prepare and strengthen ourselves for the work you have for us.

May we always have a sense of expectancy, of anticipation,
for what you have in store for us in the future,
but may we never forget what you need us to do today.

Open our hearts to receive the Spirit
in all his gracious fullness and make us sensitive to his guidance.
This we ask in your name. Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2021 Ann Caffyn.
Image freely available online.

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