—Fr Ainsley Swift, Pentecost Sunday (4 June 2017)
Acts 2. 1–21; 1 Corinthians 12. 3b–13; John 20. 19–23.
Fr Ainsley is a well-known tech enthusiast. He brought his new drone into church to illustrate the power of the Holy Spirit. He called the children to the front with the call, ‘How do birds fly? How do planes, helicopters fly?’
One child volunteered the answer, ‘Wind!’
Fr Ainsley agreed enthusiastically, then started his drone. The children watched it rise into the air with flashing lights.
Our readings this morning talk about a mighty rushing wind when God’s Holy Spirit came to live in Jesus followers.
The Gospel story talked about Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit into the disciples.
The power of the Holy Spirit, like a breath or even a mighty wind, is promised to us all! Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ can be filled with the Holy Spirit. The drone can fly even though it is heavy and doesn’t look like it can fly. Sometimes we look at our own lives and think we can never be good enough, have enough courage, have enough patients, have enough lo, but God’s promise is that we can be filled with the Holy Spirit who brings us the love, joy and peace of Jesus Christ in our lives.
The drone is capable of flying, we are capable of loving and healing and bringing joy. But just as the drone cannot fly until we switch the power on, so we need the Holy Spirit to help us be the people God wants us to be. And how do we get the Holy Spirt? The disciples were told to wait until they received power from on high: We need to spend time waiting in God’s presence. We usually call that prayer; but real prayer is not just something written in a book that we read out. It is a stilling of our thoughts, an opening or ourselves to new possibilities and trusting that God will guide and direct us, calling us to love and joy and peace, not just for ourselves but for all. And God’s Spirit makes real in us the forgiveness that Jesus died to bring us, the healing Jesus rose to bring us and the love and power he ascended to have poured out on all who seek God and God’s love.
Let’s promise ourselves (and God) this morning that we might just spend a little more time in waiting, in praying and in listening for God…and we will be given the Holy Spirit, promised at our baptism, to guide and gift us in our daily lives.