Letter to the Parish - Friday 21 May 2021

First published on: 21st May 2021

Dear all,

What do a blackboard, a bell, social media and some fishermen have in common?

The answer I am looking for is the telling of news. If the royal family want to share some news, for example, when a baby is born, they put it on a blackboard outside the palace gates. A town crier would ring their bell to get people's attention before shouting their message. Social media is where I see most of my friends’ announcements of news; who is pregnant, who’s getting married, who’s changing jobs and who’s had pancakes for breakfast.

And what about the fishermen? This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost; the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples (some of them were fishermen), giving them a boldness and gifts to tell the Good News about Jesus. 

“God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts ch.2 v.36).

At the start of the passage the disciples are all together and suddenly, with sounds like violent winds and what looks like tongues of fire, they receive the Holy Spirit and start to tell people about Jesus in many different languages. This marks the start of the spread of the Good News, starting in Jerusalem, to Judea and then spreading out across the globe and through the centuries, to the ends of the earth … even Farsley!

We too are to be people who join in with passing on this hope we have in Jesus. We can think that this is a human endeavour, and it can be scary, daunting and something for the professionals. Leave it to the vicar! But the disciples did not do it in their own strength but in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to allow the Spirit to work through us, to give us a boldness, to let us see opportunities and to give us the right words to say. Through this chapter in Acts there are many different reactions to the disciples’ news; some are perplexed, some amazed, some scoff and some believe.  

The Bible talks about being filled with the Spirit and keeping in step with the Spirit. I think the challenge this week is for us to reflect on the this, and let the Spirit of God fill us in every area of our lives.   

Allowing the Spirit of God to use us to share that Good News.

God Bless,

Gareth.


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