Tag Archives: Pentecost

Broken Bones

(sorry I’m slightly out of sync this week!)

Dry bones,
weary bones,
broken bones

heaped in a pile,
lifeless,
hopeless.

Lord,
breathe in me,
your life,
strength,
hope

that I may live again

Ezekiel 37:1-14 (CEV)

Dry Bones Live Again

37 Some time later, I felt the Lord’s power take control of me, and his Spirit carried me to a valley full of bones. The Lord showed me all around, and everywhere I looked I saw bones that were dried out. He said, “Ezekiel, son of man, can these bones come back to life?”

I replied, “Lord God, only you can answer that.”

He then told me to say:

Dry bones, listen to what the Lord is saying to you, “I, the Lord God, will put breath in you, and once again you will live. I will wrap you with muscles and skin and breathe life into you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

I did what the Lord said, but before I finished speaking, I heard a rattling noise. The bones were coming together! I saw muscles and skin cover the bones, but they had no life in them.

The Lord said:

Ezekiel, now say to the wind, “The Lord God commands you to blow from every direction and to breathe life into these dead bodies, so they can live again.”

10 As soon as I said this, the wind blew among the bodies, and they came back to life! They all stood up, and there were enough to make a large army.

11 The Lord said:

Ezekiel, the people of Israel are like dead bones. They complain that they are dried up and that they have no hope for the future. 12 So tell them, “I, theLord God, promise to open your graves and set you free. I will bring you back to Israel, 13 and when that happens, you will realize that I am the Lord. 14 My Spirit will give you breath, and you will live again. I will bring you home, and you will know that I have kept my promise. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

The Wind of Change

Not my words Lord,
but yours.
Your power,
your vision,
your light.

Breathing,
speaking,
moving,
blowing,
equipping.

Lord,
I pray for your Spirit
to ignite me,
blow through me,
speak in me;
that people may hear
in a way they can grasp,
that I may understand
in a way I can know,
That I may dream
and speak
for you.

Fill me
Holy Spirit,
I pray

Acts 2:1-21 (CEV)

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place.Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.

Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem.And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. They were excited and amazed, and said:

Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee? Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome,11 Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.

12 Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other, “What does all this mean?”

13 Others made fun of the Lord’s followers and said, “They are drunk.”

Peter Speaks to the Crowd

14 Peter stood with the eleven apostles and spoke in a loud and clear voice to the crowd:

Friends and everyone else living in Jerusalem, listen carefully to what I have to say! 15 You are wrong to think that these people are drunk. After all, it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 But this is what God had the prophet Joel say,

17 “When the last days come,
I will give my Spirit
    to everyone.
Your sons and daughters
    will prophesy.
Your young men
    will see visions,
and your old men
    will have dreams.
18 In those days I will give
    my Spirit to my servants,
both men and women,
    and they will prophesy.

19 I will work miracles
    in the sky above
and wonders
    on the earth below.
There will be blood and fire
    and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will turn dark,
and the moon
    will be as red as blood
before the great
    and wonderful day
    of the Lord appears.
21 Then the Lord
    will save everyone
    who asks for his help.”

Holy Spirit We Welcome You

You’ve Seen One

“If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”, is a phrase usually used  to mean they’re all the same, there’s nothing special about them, nothing to distinguish them from any other of the genre.  For example if you’ve seen one rom-com film, you’ve seen them all*.  (*this may or may not be a belief I subscribe to!)

Here that is given a slightly different spin.  Again, jumping ahead slightly to next week and Trinity Sunday, Philip asks Jesus to show them The Father:

John 14:8-17

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.”

Jesus replied:

Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don’t you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? 10 Don’t you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn’t said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.

11 Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. 12 I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. 13 Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honor to the Father. 14 I will do whatever you ask me to do.

The Holy Spirit Is Promised

15 Jesus said to his disciples:

If you love me, you will do as I command. 16 Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. 17 The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don’t see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you.

Jesus replies that seeing him is the same as seeing the Father.  They are not poor imitations of one another, or just totally predictable copies of each another – they are as seeing each other because they are as one.  When they see Jesus and what he does, it is what God would do and is doing because he is God – here amongst them.  There is absolutely no difference between them, apart from Jesus being the physical personification of God.

Yet Jesus goes on to promise more than that,

if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing

Those who follow Jesus are invited to join in the work.  Wow!  Now that is quite some task.  How can we even contemplate doing what Jesus did?  What God does?  We are mere fallible human beings with all our failings, misunderstandings, half-cocked ideas and foibles.  How can we share in doing God’s work?

Jesus tells us how – by he and the Father sending the Holy Spirit to be with us always and help us.

Jesus is God living as a human being in the world, the Holy Spirit is God living in us, equipping us for all that we are asked to do.  I don’t know about you, but I need that…