Readings for Week 8 in Year 1
Monday: Sirach 17. 24-29; Psalm 31. 1-7; Mark 10. 17-27
Tuesday: Sirach 35. 1-12; Psalm 50. 7-15; Mark 10. 28-31
Wednesday: Sirach 36. 1-6,13-17; Psalm 79. 8-13; Mark 10. 32-45
Thursday: Sirach 42. 15-25; Psalm 33. 1-9; Mark 10. 46-52
Friday: Sirach 44. 1-13; Psalm 149. 1-5; Mark 11. 11-26
Saturday: Sirach 51. 11b-22; Psalm 19. 7-14; Mark 11. 27-33
One of the descriptions of Pentecost, the 50th day of Easter, it that is was ‘like the sound of a mighty rushing wind’. We have of course, been given a live demonstration of this over the last day. We have seen how wind can blow things (and people) in entirely unexpected directions, can overturn things thought well-established and remove coverings, leaving the bare underside. This, of course, can be destructive and harmful: but the power of the Spirit is there to cleanse us and renew us – to take away, perhaps, the cloak that we think keeps us safe from hard thinking about our faith and hard action in putting it in to practice.
The coming of the Holy Spirit renews and refreshes – the frightened locked-away group now have confidence and vigour. They face down official disapproval; they create a church and society founded on compassion and care – ‘see how these Christians love one another’ was said in admiration, not in mockery. This is what Jesus does – takes the broken and heals and transforms it. The Spirit is how God works in us today, turning us and pointing in us in new directions, inspiring us when we have become dull and commonplace. It is an exciting place to be.
One of the joys this week was our first Bible Study since March 2020 – our first meeting indoors for anything apart from worship. We are looking at the Letter to the Philippians, one of Paul’s letters from prison and you are welcome to join us on Thursdays at 14.00 in the Schoolroom – it finishes at 15.00.
We are too opening the halls for meetings but not for coffee – hopefully that is on its way before long. Singing still seems a distant project.
But things are getting back to ‘normal’ for this time last year, if not normal for January 2020. May this path continue!
Pentecostal blessings on you all
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.
Thy blessed unction from above
is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
the dullness of our blinded sight.
Anoint and cheer our soiled face
with the abundance of thy grace.
Keep far from foes, give peace at home:
where thou art guide, no ill can come.
Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and thee, of both, to be but One,
that through the ages all along,
this may be our endless song:
Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.