I wonder how your days and routines have changed in the last few months? At the moment, my days look so different to my normal routine, and I’m sure yours do, too. Our house looks quite different too, with one room now being home to a puppet show and another to all sorts of sound and music equipment. We have four ‘stations’ for each of the children to do their school work (we find spacing them out works best!). Justin works in another room, broadcasting live on the radio each weekday morning (this is a new thing that he’s been asked to do since lockdown, he hadn’t done much live radio for years before this!). We’re looking forward to mid-June when Justin will stop doing live radio and will begin work writing his next book, alongside continuing to work on his radio show and podcast ‘Unbelievable?’. We won’t need to keep quiet so much in the mornings then – you can imagine how hard that is with six of us in the house!
Being stuck in one space for a long time can feel strange, and at times a little overwhelming. Our church also feels different at the moment, we can’t gather and we are stuck in our separate places. We are perhaps a little afraid and unsure what the future will look like. This is why reminding ourselves of the story of Acts is so important. In it we see how God takes fragile people who aren’t sure of anything and gives them his supernatural power to become confident followers of Jesus. We have thought about how they had to sit and wait for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit and how that time of waiting was a vital part of their journey as followers of Christ. In that time they learnt to ‘pray constantly’ and to trust that God would fulfil his promises. As we sit in this time of waiting and uncertainty we, too, must learn to wait on God and trust that he is with us, that his promises are for us, and that there is hope and a future, both for us and for the church.
We have just celebrated Pentecost Sunday where the Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Jesus and gave them strength and power to do great things in his name. It has often occurred to me how small and fragile the church was at its birth. Just a group of people, gathered together in a house, afraid and totally unsure about what the future would look like. Yet it was through them that the message of Jesus Christ spread throughout the whole world, driven and equipped by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the power and presence of God in our hearts and lives. When we pray for the Spirit to fill us, we are asking for God to become part of us, to surround us and to enable us to do things we would never be able to do in our own strength.
My prayer for each one of you, is that you would know the power of the Spirit with you right where you are and whatever you are facing. I pray that your waiting would be full of prayer and hope. I pray that you would allow God to use this time for good and that you’d take great inspiration from the stories we are reading in Acts. If God is for us, who can be against us?
Keep praying for God to move in our church and in each of our lives, for his glory.