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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

11 June 2014: Rev'd Will Hughes, St Peter's, Petersfield

Holy Spirit

Last Sunday, 8 June, was the feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is the 50th day after Easter and the day when the church celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit.

When discussing the Holy Spirit, people used to start with the idea of a ghost. But the last few times I've asked people what 'Holy Spirit' makes them think of, the answer has been 'alcohol.'

I'm not sure what that says about society but it's not a bad way to think about the Holy Spirit. To start with, spirits are the purified versions of alcohol. They are the essence, the distilled version of the drink.

The Holy Spirit, likewise, is the essence, the purified undiluted voice of God. Like spirits, the Holy Spirit is strong and powerful and like spirits, the Holy Spirit is not to be taken lightly because there is a hint of danger about it.

But all analogies fail. Alcohol can be used or misused. It can do us great harm if it gets control over us. The Holy Spirit can certainly change our lives but never for the worse. She is not like the force of Start Wars - to be used or channelled.

The Holy Spirit is the voice of God, whispering to us of a better and fuller life. A voice-like conscience which speaks in our minds as if it were our own thoughts but which challenges our own thoughts and breathes ideas we would never have dreamed of on our own.

In the end, the Holy Spirit and spirits are opposites. While both can lead to you doing things you'd never do without their influence, only one waits for our consent before changing our lives, only one makes us more the people we would like to be.

Don't forget the IMC Funday this Saturday 14 June in Ram's Walk


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