I’ll be quite honest one of the most difficult subjects I ever find to talk about in the Church is the Holy Spirit.
I find talking about it is like trying to nail jelly to the wall
You can do it, but it is hard work and tends to make a mess
But more importantly, Jelly is meant to be eaten not nailed to a wall.
And the Holy Spirit is not something that should be nailed down either – nor should it be confined to words. So if this message comes across as shallow as trying to describe a great masters painting to a blind man, you can understand why
In the Acts reading the disciples are sitting in an upstairs room on the day of Pentecost – A Jewish harvest festival, what they were doing we don’t know, they may have been watching TV, or more likely having some type of Church thing.
When the Holy Spirit bursts in and generally messes with their little meeting. Nothing in their lives will be the same again… What happens next in their lives is like they have gone through an extreme makeover because the Holy Spirit – the breadth of God, transforms everything and everyone it touches.
Wizard of OZ – one of my favourite stories – Dorothy’s world is changed by the coming of a Tornado – she is whisked away in a dream. When she awakes back in Kansas– the world that was black and white is now filled with colour. It is not that the world has changed – But Dorothy has… She has changed…. And all because of a mighty wind…
It isn’t an accident that the image given to describe what the Holy Spirit is doing is like a wind, because wind shares many characteristics of the Holy Spirit. It can be gentle but it can arise from what seem like nowhere and turn the whole world upside down.
When the Holy Spirit blows through your life – you can expect change too. Paul talks a lot about these changes in the letters that he wrote in the NT.
These changes he compares to fruit on a tree. The Holy Spirit produces in us the fruit of the Spirit - love; joy; peace; patience; kindness; goodness; faithfulness; gentleness; self-control.
As the autumn wind blows Gail force outside our windows, blowing of the old leaves it allows new growth to come through – And that is how the Holy Spirit works in us. Removing the old selfish characteristics and allowing a new self to grow through. Dorothy would not have changed unless the wind had gotten hold of her, the disciples would never have established the Church without the Spirit, and the same is true for us…
God’s desire for us it to become Christ like –that where the word Christian comes from – little Christ. To tell the world about how much God loves it.
It won’t happen without the Holy Spirit blowing through our lives – sometimes as a gentle breeze easing us along, but also like a roaring hurricane – transforming our very character.
It can’t be harnessed to power wind turbines or bottled to make a refreshing air freshener – the Spirit blows where and when it wants to. Sometimes all we can do is hang on and enjoy the ride
To understand the Holy Spirit in words is like wearing a pair of gum boots on the beach and then trying to explain to someone what the sand feels like between your toes.
You have to take your shoes of – to understand the Holy Spirit you need to take your shoes off.