‘But now from way up here. It’s crystal clear. That now I’m in a whole new world with you’.
These are words from the soundtrack of the Disney film, Aladdin; and reflecting on what was happening to the followers of Jesus, post Easter, and what we are all experiencing, as a result of the Covid Pandemic, it feels that we have also entered ‘a whole new world’!
Since His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His followers in different places and on numerous occasions. However, their world was very different to the one they were familiar with before the events of that first Easter! And what’s more, after the coming of the promised Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, their worlds were about to change yet again!
Read: Acts 2:1-41 – The Holy Spirit Comes:
I think it’s safe to say that we are all experiencing a very different world to what we have been used to. The global pandemic of Coronavirus has changed, and will, in the future, continue to change our normal patterns of life. Ordinary, everyday things that we always took for granted, we now have to do differently. But we also thank God for the advancement of the vaccine that is bringing much needed hope and reassurance to us all.
Just as the Church was birthed on the Day of Pentecost, we too are faced with new challenges and new opportunities both individually and as a Church community. The way we ‘did Church’ has changed; again, presenting new challenges and new opportunities. We, like many other Churches, have become familiar with coming together ‘on line’.
Tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday. The Church’s Birthday; and as our thoughts turn to the events described in Acts 2 and while our lives continue to change, one thing is an absolute certainty, the same Holy Spirit that was ‘outpoured’ on the Day of Pentecost is just as powerful now as He was then!
As a Church, as we begin to emerge from lockdowns and restrictions, maybe that same Holy Spirit wants to take us into new areas of ministry as it did for the original ‘Followers of Jesus’. We all need to be open to the moving of the Spirit in our lives as a Church and individuals. The Good News of the Gospel that was preached then is unchanged, yet 2000+ years on, through the work of the Holy Spirit, that same ‘Good News’ is still changing lives today. During the last 14 months, I have seen a number of men open up their lives to the Holy Spirit and begin a whole new journey of faith with Jesus; because the Gospel is still ‘the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes’…Romans 1:16
Let us all be open to the moving of the Holy Spirit even though He moves in a different way to what we expect or think!
And may we, individually and collectively, as the Apostle Paul encourages, seek each day to be ‘continually being filled with God’s Spirit’. If we so, then our lives too, will enter into ‘a whole new world’!
Closing Prayer: (The words of 2 Hymns):
Lord, as I open up my life again to the Holy Spirit; I pray that you would:-
‘Breath on me, breath of God. Fill me with life anew.
That I may love what Thou dost love; and do what Thou wouldst do’……
And for our Church, Lord:
‘O Breath of Love, come breathe within us,
Renewing thought and will and heart;
Come, Love of Christ, afresh to win us,
Revive Thy Church in every part’…