A message from Shannon

At this time of the year, we celebrate Pentecost when the early church first received the gift of the Holy Spirit. In UK church tradition, this particular Sunday is also called Whitsunday or Whitsun, with "whit" meaning the colour white which characterised the garments worn by those who were baptised on this day. Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is impossible to see. However, the movement of the Spirit is easier to identify. We call these visible but sometimes intangible realities the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When these "fruits" are present, we can trust that God's gracious Spirit is present too.

Our world certainly needs the presence of the Holy Spirit, offering people everywhere healing, and helping us to be reconciled with one another. With the continuing worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, riots in the US over the death of a black man by a white police officer, and grave concerns over China's recent political decisions regarding Hong Kong, our world needs new life breathed into it. We also have additional concerns on our hearts and minds regarding personal matters along with those who are near and dear to us.

When life becomes overwhelming, I find hope in knowing I can turn to God in prayer. When I feel powerless, I find hope in knowing I can turn to the One whose divine power is far greater than what I will ever be able to understand. When I feel hopeless, hope has a way of finding me (and you) because our God is a living God who won't be defeated by the world's darkness. The light of Christ will find a way to brighten our darkest night.

May we all turn to prayer invoking the help of the Holy Spirit for these most difficult times. Here's a simple hymn which I think is a most appropriate prayer for all of us, "Spirit of the Living God" written by Daniel Iverson:

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Pentecost

31st May 2020