Quarterly Letter - June 2018
Dear Friends,
The Church is in the season of the Spirit at the moment - by the time you read this we will have celebrated Pentecost - when the powerful wind of God appeared to 'fall' on the early followers of Jesus to give them ability to speak in other languages so that everyone who had gathered in Jerusalem for the Jewish festival could under-stand the message of God in their own tongue.
It's helpful to have different seasons in the Church year. The National Church, encouraged by Archbishop Justin Welby, is in its third year of an initiative called "Thy Kingdom Come" in which ordinary churchgoers gather for 9 days between Ascension and Pentecost to pray that the power of the Spirit falls on us again, and we are given courage to witness to something alive in our midst.
The Holy Spirit is often depicted as unpredictable - a wind, a fire, or even deep waters, such as the prophet Ezekiel waded through in a vision in the Old Testament. None of us likes the idea of being out of control, but if you think about it, a tame God is an unlikely, and unattractive concept. If God exists, God is going to be powerful, and immersing oneself in this source of power and love is going to feel like a letting go and a leaving of the shore for the deep water. Or like being blown along, or ignited from within (depending on your metaphor).
The third person of the Trinity is vital to the church, and Christians believe he/she/it is active in the world also. If God is God, he is the source of good-ness, beauty and truth. It follows that all good, beautiful and true impulses originate in God and flow out into the world. The psalmist wrote 'the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof'. That is why care for the earth is a properly Christian activity, along with sharing resources more equitably.
The mindset of a secularized society is that God is absent, or largely irrelevant. But the Christian vision is that God is alive and active in the world and that the Holy Trinity is relational. God is personal and love flows within his 'persons', Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Perhaps most surprising of all, God longs to be in relationship with us and his 'voice' flows out in a thousand different ways, if only we could tune in.
With blessings for a fruitful summer, Claire

Revd. Claire Alcock