Reflection on the Lectionary

Sunday 5th June (Pentecost)
Psalm 104 : 24 – 35 | Acts 2 : 1 – 21 | Romans 8 : 14 – 17 | John 14 : 8 – 17 (25-27)
This reflection is provided by Local Preacher, Jenny Clark (Yate)

John 14 : 8 – 17
‘In one ear and out the other,’ is a familiar phrase and describes the way words can be heard but little else! Listening is active so what the ears hear permeates into the brain and is processed. The words of Jesus to Philip point out that the words and actions of Jesus have not led to understanding and can develop expectations that are unrealistic or miss potential that is ‘staring us in the face’.

On her 90th Birthday, my Mum who had always been quite shy in public gatherings stood up in front of over 60 gathered family and friends and spoke for 10 minutes without hesitation, notes, or repetition , about her life and expressed thanks to all who had come to the event. As her speech continued, the jaws of family members dropped open in surprise. Where did this amazing confidence and eloquence come from? Someone we thought we knew so well was empowered in that moment by decades of experience but had previously no opportunity to express herself! I cannot in any way equate the incident with my mum to the power of Jesus but it is an illustration of how we can find clarity and depth of meaning from qualities we were unaware of, when they are unlocked.

Jesus was always able to unlock potential but more importantly, was able to give people the gift of the Spirit to guide and sustain them. The conversation in the lesson is between Jesus and His disciples, an intimate gathering, one of the discourses leading up to the death of Jesus.

As we reflect on the words to Philip and indeed all who were gathered at this special time, Jesus is clarifying not only who he was, but the gift they were to be given. On this day of Pentecost, we recall that same gift given to each one of us and should ask ourselves how effective the Spirit is in our lives.

The Platinum Anniversary of our Queen, Elizabeth II, is a remarkable occasion and her legacy for the world is inspirational. Her Christian faith is without doubt an integral part of her life and her role as Monarch is one of service to those she reigns over. Service to others is a hallmark of how she recognises the good that is done by many who have gained her recognition. The Holy Spirit seeks to guide us all to give of ourselves. Jesus talks to His Disciples, letting
them know that He is leaving them but that their work is just beginning.

Jesus gives the promise of the Holy Spirit and keeping His Commandments is the empowering responsibility. As we feel that ‘transforming wind’ breathe into us again, may we feel clear headed, brave and sure in the faith that we are called to put into action, in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen

Lord, we know that we are often unsure and even a little unwilling to give ourselves totally to your service but we do love you and seek to keep your commandments, so give us the courage and trust to allow the Holy Spirit to take away our hesitation and continue to guide and support us in our journey of faith. Amen