Have you ever been so afraid of something that you’ve hidden away? That’s what the disciples were doing after Jesus had returned to the father. They had been directed to go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the father and of the son and of the spirit. But instead they were hiding away because they knew that their lives were at risk – especially if they were to start saying that Jesus had come back to life.
Jesus had always said that he would send a helper and that’s what happened at Pentecost. The disciples were hiding and the spirit came. Suddenly the disciples couldn’t stop themselves they had to go out, they had to tell people. They were even able to tell people who spoke different languages.
This is what we mean by God the Spirit – the element of God that we are looking at this week. It is God the Spirit that enables us to come out of the hiding and declare the truth about God. Some of the images used for the Holy Spirit are fire and wind – symbols of power. People can be scared of the Holy Spirit, or should we say wary. Pope Francis puts it very well when he says “ The Holy Spirit upsets us because it moves us. Makes us walk. Pushes the Church forward”
The Holy Spirit enables us to do things for the kingdom. The first disciples were able to talk to people from all over the world about Jesus, once they had been filled by the spirit. That coming of the spirit read abut in the book of Acts is now celebrated every year as the birthday of the Church. It was at that coming of the Spirit that the Church started to grow, and the Church continues to be moved by the Spirit today.
So… God the Spirit… the power that pushes us out, that drags us out of hiding, that pushes us forward. It is the Spirit that enables us to fulfil the call we were given to make disciples of all nations.
By asking to be filled with the Spirit of God we are asking to stand out from the crowd, to be seen as something different. Is that something you are willing to ask?
Prayer: father God we ask you to fill us with your spirit’ that we may be able to do your will on earth.
Challenge: the spirit enabled the early disciples to tell others about Jesus and to start the Church. Have you told anyone new about Jesus recently?