Reflection on Pentecost: 23rd May 2021

The Energies of the Spirit of God

‘Pentecost is a feast of the mysterious movement of God. Each year it is an invitation to be attentive once more to God’s presence in our lives. The Apostles, locked together in a room, suddenly experienced the movement of the Spirit as a rushing wind which brought a surge of energy which hadn’t been there before, an energy which changed their attitudes and motivated them with enthusiasm and hope. They moved from being weak and discouraged to being people with inner vitality. They discovered a dynamic power of love and a new determination to live what Jesus had proclaimed to them. We need to be attuned to the movement of the Spirit if we are to hear the call to transformation or deeper growth. We can forget or take for granted the smaller breezes if we are not deliberately attentive to them. It is easy to dismiss these moments of transformation, either because we are too busy or because we do not recognise the activity of the Divine in our everyday lives.

Galatians 5:22 describes the working of the Spirit of God as the fruits of ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ I used to think of these fruits as ‘things’ given to us, like something in gift boxes. Now I think of them not as things but as energies. They are dynamic sources of growth in us. We often pray “Come Holy Spirit” as if the Holy Spirit is separate from us. We are created in the image and likeness of God, therefore the Spirit of God is already within us. Our prayer then becomes, “Come forth from within us and help us to recognise and live your energies. May we be aware of your rushing wind and may it bring about change in us and through us.” We can choose whether or not to act upon these energies, whether or not to allow them to become effective in us. The poet Jessica Powers writes that the person who experiences the wind of the Spirit “turns like a wandering weather-vane towards love.” We always have the option to resist this turning. The choice is ours.’

Adapted: Joyce Rupp. May I have this Dance?

‘The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to reveal to us the truth of our being so that the way of our being can match it. ‘

Wm. Paul Young