Daily Devotion 29 June 2020
Joel 2:28-29 ‘God’s Spirit Poured Out’
28 Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female slaves, in those days,
I will pour out my spirit.
Take a look at this short extract from Winston Churchill as I Knew Him by Violet Bonham Carter:
I found myself sitting next to this young man who seemed to me quite different from any other young man I had ever met. For a long time he remained sunk in abstraction. Then he appeared to become suddenly aware of my existence. He turned on me a lowering gaze and asked me abruptly how old I was. I replied that I was nineteen. “And I,” he said, almost despairingly, “am thirty-two already. Younger than anyone else who counts, though,” he added, as if to console himself. Then savagely: “Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality! How cruelly short is the allotted span for all we must cram into it.” And he ended up with the words I shall always remember: “We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm.”
That passage, written by Violet Bonham Carter of her first meeting with the young Winston Churchill in 1906, is one I shall always remember because it speaks so vividly of the destiny – or, rather, the possibilities – that are there for us all. Churchill was right in one sense, for indeed he was a glow-worm. But he was quite wrong in another. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon all the disciples – not just to Peter and John. And when, many years before, the prophet Joel had spoken about the way God’s Spirit would stir up the people in the future, he told them that God wanted ‘to pour out his Spirit upon all flesh’ (Joel 2:28). We can all be ‘glow-worms’!
You can have fire without any flame at all, of course. Sometimes this is useful – for instance, in the manufacture of coke. But I am reminded of an important lesson that the early church needed to learn, and which sometimes we need to re-learn, too. You don’t have to be ‘showy’ to be a Spirit-filled Christian. How many examples have there been in recent weeks of faithful people witnessing to God’s love in unseen, unnoticed ways? God’s Spirit works in all kinds of ways, and quiet people can burn just as strongly as anyone else, and if we allow her to fill us.
Paul writes to the Galatians that: ‘If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit’ (Gal. 5:25). We can all be ‘glow-worms’, and if we believe that, then as a church (if you’ll pardon the pun), we shall get on like a house on fire!
We thank you, O God,
for your Spirit of love which can burn brightly within each and every one of us.
May the fire of your love set our hearts ablaze for you.
Give us the strength to do the difficult things that face us;
give us compassion to embrace those who need our help,
and may our hearts be always filled with the fire of your love. Amen.
Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Barrie Tabraham.
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