From The Rectory
June




Dear Friends,
This month the Church celebrates two feasts that take us from the end of the story of Jesus’ presence in Jerusalem and Galilee over two thousand years ago into the new experience of God that his followers entered into through him. We celebrate Pentecost (or Whitsun), often called the birthday of the church, when we recall the gift of the Holy Spirit to the first apostles, inspiring and empowering them to take Jesus’ message of love and new start out across the ancient world. Those apostles had all grown up with a knowledge of and devotion to the God who created the world, the one God their ancestors had always worshiped. When they met Jesus they began to recognise God’s presence in him, and his resurrection from the dead confirmed a new faith for them that he was the Son of God – revealed as a human being. On the day of Pentecost they experienced the powerful presence of God as Spirit. From these experiences they had to start talking about God in new ways – God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; or Creator, Redeemer and Inspirer. In time the theologians would give the term “Trinity” to the Christian believe that the God we worship is “three persons and one God”: sometimes something that is hard to get our minds around, but easier to think of as the way God is known to us – as the one who holds us in being, the one who reveals God in human form, as the one within us who leads us towards God. This belief is the focus of our celebration the week after Pentecost- Trinity Sunday.

Members of the Lee Abbey Community and I have been sharing some of the themes of the Pentecost story with the pupils and staff at Lynton Primary School and I have found it a personally helpful experience to explore a familiar story in more depth and relate it to where I am now in life and faith. The first theme was “waiting”. It’s a theme I associate with Advent of Lent – but it is good to be reminded that Jesus actually tells his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit – for something mysterious and unknown. Many of us will have experienced or be experiencing all kinds of “waiting” but we don’t live in a very patient culture. The disciples responded to Jesus’ command by gathering together and praying together. I wonder if we can take note of their example and look out for those among us who are “waiting” for something and offering our company and support? Can we pray for all who are waiting? For our own patience and for positive patience in the world around us? Perhaps then, we can discover, like the disciples that the waiting prepares us to receive whatever will come in its own time.
God bless,
Samantha

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