A message from Richard
I am writing this on Ascension Day when we think of our Lord ascending into Heaven. We are moving towards Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a particularly good time to ponder things of the Holy Spirit. We are still in a time when there is great uncertainty and we wonder what will happen now the government is allowing us to move about more. Restrictions that have kept us safe for weeks being removed, children going back to school, visitors coming to the coast. Last week I wrote about Christ in the boat and walking on water but this week I would like to say something about the Holy Spirit who is with us now. The symbols that we use for the Holy Spirit show, to an extent, how we see the Holy Spirit. We think of the Dove as a symbol of peace and of course the Holy Spirit was sent down as a Dove when Christ was baptised in the river Jordan. In Baptism ceremonies we give a candle which often has the symbol of the dove on it to those who are baptised. It reminds us that when we are baptised the Holy Spirit comes to us and enters into our lives. We may also think of the water of baptism, the pure still water, not the storms of life but the water that is still and tranquil after the storm was rebuked by Christ or the deep and still waters that the Holy Spirit hovered over in the beginning of creation. We may think of the Wild Goose and the energy of the bird as it takes to the air that energy and power of the Holy Spirit which comes to us and empowers us. We could look to the fire that Moses encountered in the burning bush as he came before God in that Holy place and see the fire of the Holy Spirit burning within us. That power of the Holy Spirit refining our relationship with a loving God. The fruits of the Holy Spirit which come to us are listed in the epistle to the Galatians as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. This is a time when we need the Holy Spirit walking close to us, leading and guiding us and also a time when we are called to let the Holy Spirit work in and through us to show people that God loved the world and indeed loves the world now.
Heavenly Father as we stand in the storm, help us to hear your voice and feel the deep stillness of your presence. Let us see You walking towards us holding out Your arms and feel Your loving embrace. Give us the strength and the courage to walk with You and bring Your light and hope to those who stand in darkness and fear. In the name of Jesus. Amen