Deacon's Bench

From the Deacon’s Bench
By Canon Ken

Time keeps moving on. On the fiftieth day after Easter, we celebrate Pentecost. This is a major festival day in the Church. This day is celebrated by the Orthodox, the Roman Catholics, the Lutherans and the Anglicans. The day to celebrate the gifting of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Although it doesn’t explicitly say it in the Acts of the Apostles, the church in Rome insists that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there at the time and also received the gift of the holy spirit.

We are told there was a mighty wind and flames of fire appeared on them. Those around heard them speaking many different languages. The liturgical colour of the day is red, as in the red of fire. In the northern hemispheres, it is a time when we are looking forward to summer, and the heat of summer. In the southern hemispheres, the red may be more likely to be reflected in red leaves such as on the autumn trees or poinsettias.

Jesus said he would send the Spirit to guide us. Pentecost is the time when the church celebrates the coming of that Spirit. But what happens then? The Spirit is here to guide us. We talk about the Spirit and celebrate it as part of the Trinity. But do we let it guide us? I don’t think the Spirit is like the image of a little angel sitting on our shoulders whispering in our ears. But I do think it is there to provide guidance. We may not always listen or may not always recognize it. The Spirit may speak to us in the words or actions of others. Maybe it is that nagging little thought when we are trying to make a decision. If trying to decide if it is the Spirit, maybe we need to reflect upon what it is saying. Does it incorporate actions that reflect the love of God and love of neighbour? If love isn’t part of it, then maybe it isn’t the Spirit.

As we celebrate the Spirit, and spend our summer days in God’s world, let us take the time to listen. If we listen closely enough perhaps we will hear the Spirit guiding us.


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