Spirit & Life
I often hear people bemoan that the Church is dying. Is it? Or is it looking differently to how it was? And is that okay? Jesus significantly reminds the leaders that those who do as God wants, may be ‘doing, saying and being’ God’s people with a different faith-filled perspective from what has gone before
I was at a Retreat, in a silent prayer time, sitting under a shady tree. I was praying about a sense of call to a particular ministry. I did pray impatiently, “Lord, it would be really good, though, if you gave me some clear sign you are really calling me!”
an you remember feeling the warmth of the Spirit lifting your soul and transforming your sense of being? The Pentecost experience is not just a once-off moment. The dawning of God’s wonder breaks into our faith journey over and over again.
This heartfelt prayer of Jesus reflects deep humility and love for us all. He weaves together his incarnational life, God’s love and truth, our faith, and our response to Jesus’ teachings, through living out God’s love in the world, where we might have joy in our hearts in all its fullness.
It never ceases to amaze me the number of new songs created, enabling new generations to express themselves with delightful diversity and in ways relevant to their situations. Psalm 98 is as relevant today as it was when sung in ancient times.
‘Everything Old Is New Again’ denotes a Silversmith’s repurposing of old copper and brass roofing from a century old church. From this she created a delightful pectoral cross that I wore when being celebrant at my daughter’s wedding. It reminded me that through change and renewal in our churches, we retain what is precious and repurpose it in unexpected ways, as we prune to strengthen flourishing new ministries.
The very fabric of everyday life is changing before us; these are unprecedented times. In the midst of this, we’re invited to find God and some have little more than their bible to help. We reflect on Psalms 23 and its implications for our lives—now, more than ever.
Almost everyone can point to a time in life when they were deeply happy. For some, courtship and marriage were those times of joy. For others, high school or college days stand out. Some even point to the birth of children. In hindsight, some events stand out as times to savor.
How beautiful were the delights and joy expressed by the gathered community where I worshipped! It reinforced that when we focus on ‘personal faith’ only, we miss the significance of God’s call to the ‘gathered faithful’, in all our unique and diverse expressions.
When confronted by what is hard to hear, shocking to consider, grieving to know, difficult to understand, it is often much easier to not believe it at all. Then, in anxiety, fear and shame, choose to ridicule the truth-teller.