My Dear Friends,
It is Pentecost as I write this letter to you. Pentecost is when the first followers of Jesus received the gift of the Holy Spirit which Jesus had promised them. The Holy Spirit would make them bold and give them the ability or power to do things they did not believe themselves to be capable of doing. The Holy Spirit still helps people today in this and many other ways – when I sometimes find what somebody else thinks to be the right words to express something, I know it is the Holy Spirit who helps me to find the right way of saying it.
One of the things I find challenging is to see where God is at work today in everyday situations, for this is where the Holy Spirit is at work. In particular in recent years I have become more aware of the way in which through music, films, theatre, art and poetry God’s Holy Spirit speaks powerfully to me and others and energises us. Only last Sunday evening I listened to part of the final of the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year, 2010. I arrived home from a long day just as the last finalist was about to perform. Her instrument was the piano, which I also play, but there the similarity ended. She played a delightful and captivating Concerto by a French composer, Saint-Saens. At the end I said to Joy that if the 16 year old girl did not win, then one of the two earlier competitors must have been ‘out of this world’! She did win! Afterwards I reflected that she not only had great technical expertise and must have spent long hours over many years in dedication and practice, she had that something extra – she was truly ‘inspired’. That I believe is the work of the Holy Spirit! Certainly the music and performance spoke vividly to me
and restored my soul!
Just two days ago I watched a DVD of a film called ‘Bright Star’, about the life and love of the poet John Keats, who died at the very young age of 25. It inspired me to go to my bookshelves and read some of Keats’ poetry. I’m not a great lover of poetry, but a new world opened up before me as I read. In the same way we went to a Photographic Exhibition in Bradford last month. It was on one of the social evils of today – the trafficking of young girls for sex. It was moving and powerful, got me worked up about what is wrong. It was the Spirit at work and this is the kind of way in which God continues to work.
Think about where you see God at work today. What stirs you up? Look for signs of the Spirit and act on them.
With much love,
Your Minister and friend,