Daily Devotion 29 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.

Luke 11:11-13 ‘The Holy Spirit as Gift’

11 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

Two of my most precious possessions were gifts from my father, both of which he had made for me. In his later years he took up tapestry as a hobby and one Christmas he sewed me a picture of my favourite little dog, which has always since hung on a wall of my home. Then for my birthday he gave me a needle case which he’d made, with a picture of a trombone on it – the instrument I was learning to play at the time. I greatly treasure both of these gifts. My father who was a minister and could do little wrong in my eyes, was nonetheless a sinner as we all are. If he knew how to give good gifts, how much more does our Father in heaven. So in this Pentecost season we should be ready to receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.

So what is the gift of the Holy Spirit? The gift is the Spirit himself, who dwells in us, unites us as a church and transforms our lives – all the fruit and gifts of the Spirit flow from this one great gift. Jesus promised to send the Spirit to his disciples and that is a gift for all believers in all generations. As a gift, it can’t be deserved or earned. God doesn’t give us this gift as a reward for being good and being faithful; he gives it to us so that we have power in our own lives to overcome sin and to be real witnesses for Jesus.

A gift isn’t something that we beg for, it is something that we simply receive. But as the passage above indicates, we need to ask God for the Holy Spirit. God isn’t going to force something on us that we don’t want, we have to desire it. God won’t violate our free will. The gift of the Holy Spirit is indeed a gift but we must ask for it and want it. It’s a matter of our wanting more of God and wanting him to have more of us. ‘Lord, fill us with Your Holy Spirit.’

Too often we look at our own unworthiness. We tell ourselves we don’t deserve such a gift and so we don’t ask for it. The Holy Spirit isn’t given to us to make us feel joyful, so that we might have an ecstatic spiritual experience. The Holy Spirit is given to us so that we have power to witness for Jesus.

As we celebrate this Pentecost season and remember the Holy Spirit descending on those first disciples, let us ask, expect, and receive this incomparable gift.

Prayer:

Holy Spirit of God,
On the day of Pentecost
you came once for all to the Church
as the gift of the exalted Lord.

Come to us
in your grace and power today,
to make Jesus real to us,
to teach us more about him,
and to deepen our faith in him;
that we may be changed into his likeness
and be his witnesses in the world,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2021 Ann Caffyn.
Image © 2002-2021, ROOTS for Churches Ltd.

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