A sermon on Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the Birthday of the Church. (Scripture for the day: Genesis 11:1-9; John 14:8-17, (25-27); and Romans 8:14-17).
Jesus’ Legacy: the Holy Spirit.
- Not just a Birthday, but Our anniversary – a time for reflection and thinking ahead.
- When we reflect we often think of our legacy – what have we achieved, what have we left behind us?
- The Holy Spirit is Jesus ‘legacy’ (legacy = bequest, inheritance, gift, donation).
The Holy Spirit is…
Who is this person we’ve inherited? What are they like? What do they do?
- Holy – set aside for God’s purpose or work.
- Of Truth – leads people to the truth about God and who Jesus is.
- Reminder – of Jesus (person), actions, teaching and message.
- Peaceful – allows us to rest in intimacy with God, rather than fear.
- Counsellor – helps and advises us, especially to obey God because we love Jesus.
- Advocate – our defender when accused (Satan = ‘accuser’).
- Comforter – someone we can turn to for reassurance in trouble.
- Adopter – lets us know that we are adopted, and receive God’s inheritance (legacy).
- Has personality – not a characterless, distant force, but a person we can know.
- Dynamic – changing and responsive to our situation; active in God’s plans.
- Guide – leads us to do new things, meet new people and see new places.
In around 25 years’ time I will be retiring (I hope) and looking back upon a life of…What will I have achieved? Where will I have fallen short? [“because …”]
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt, 23rd Apr 1910.
In 25 years’, what will our Church look like? Many congregations will have died our entirely; their buildings will no longer be holy. Yate and Staple Hill are larger and have families with children, so they should still be here. We will endure; but, given what we know about the Holy Spirit, is that enough?