What has been a source of inspiration for you over the past week or last 24 hours? Maybe it is something heartfelt you heard someone say or a real blessing received in your family or a challenge overcome.
The feast of Pentecost we celebrate today is a time to focus on the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives and how that same Spirit inspires us to recognise the hand of God in the events of our lives.
That Spirit inspires us to react in ways that reflect the life and goodness of Christ and reminds us of all he said and did. That was Christ’s promise to the first disciples. After they received the Spirit, they became courageous and powerful witnesses no longer timid or afraid.
Inspirational things do remind us of who we are and who God is. God as creator is the source of beauty and the source of life and is the one who enables us to be co-creators with the gifts and talents we have received.
Inspirational things that have moved me at different times like the love of a parent for their child, the love between a husband and wife that endures beyond death, the energy and enthusiasm created by friends seeking truth and understanding together, the sharing of a common humanity despite language barriers, a deep respect and honouring of each other’s cultures, experiencing mercy and forgiveness and witnessing life commitments people make are I believe actions of the Spirit. The Spirit enables our eyes to be open and our ears to truly listen for the presence of God all around us. Being moved and grateful are all actions of the Spirit prompting us like a spring of water welling up from deep within us.
Some years ago, I wrote a song inspired by the actions of the Apostles after Pentecost. You will recall the image of ‘tongues of fire’ as a sign of the Spirit which features in our scriptures this Sunday. Some of those who listened to them preaching in those early days were convinced that they were drunk, such was their enthusiasm and zeal for the kingdom of God, alive in the Spirit.
The lyrics are below.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your presence and action in our lives. Help us to recognise your presence in us and all around us.
Listen to track 5 - 'Tongues of Fire'' from the album Like A Beautiful Day.
Tongues of Fire
Drink the new wine of the Spirit
Laugh like never before
Come now, speak the word, that leaves you wanting more
Share and inspire
There rests upon us tongues of fire
Come fill our lives with the freedom
Only the Spirit can give
Because hearts set free are those destined to live
Just as the river runs to the sea
The Spirit flows through you and me
Come with our longings, culture and faith
Celebrate oneness here in this place
Remember that we are beloved
Sons and daughters of God
Come now; let’s rejoice in God’s unconditional love