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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

11 May 2016: Brian Blogg, Petersfield United Reformed Church

Pentecost

As we approach Whit Sunday the Church will celebrate the most significant event in its history - Pentecost. That occasion when God’s own Spirit fell in a remarkable way upon the disciples. It had been promised several hundred years earlier through the prophet Joel and on the very evening before Jesus was crucified He had told them that His Father would send the Holy Spirit. Finally, just ten days before Pentecost He said they would be baptised, engulfed, overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit. And then it happened and their lives would never be the same again. An end of all their problems? Far from it, indeed in some ways only the beginning for they experienced persecution as they had never known it before! But the Holy Spirit now indwelt them and whilst Pentecost is usually associated with ‘power’ His indwelling presence involves so much more.

When Jesus had spoken of Him He used words like ‘counsellor’ one who advises and guides when we face thorny issues; ‘comforter’ one who is ever present through the hard times in life; when we have to grapple with relationship difficulties, unemployment, health issues and even when death itself stares us in the face. Isaiah spoke of the Messiah ‘binding up the broken hearted, proclaiming freedom for the captives and releasing prisoners from darkness’ and that is precisely what the Spirit does.

All of this glorious, delightful work of the Holy Spirit is however lost unless we are in relationship with the Father through Jesus the Son. Relationship is essential, it is not enough to read the Bible however diligently; attend church however regularly, important though these things are. Their value is in pointing us to the One who gives life! May we know the filling of the Holy Spirit this coming weekend.

All are welcome to join in the 24/7 prayer at St Mary Magdalen, Sheet

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