North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit

We are a discipleship movement shaped for mission

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North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit

Privacy Notice Updated 2020

Message for the Circuit Website: The Fire of the Spirit  -  Acts 2: 1-13

Dear Friends,  

How do you find waiting?  The anticipation of a special occasion like a holiday, or the end of covid restrictions, and even long checkout lines at the supermarket?

Just before Jesus returned to heaven, He said to the disciples WAIT! Acts 1v4. Actively wait in prayer in Jerusalem for the coming of God the Holy Spirit.

Hard on the heels of momentous events, often unwelcome, we need to wait. Our time, energy, thinking, passion all drained. Waiting then becomes a time of refreshing and recovery so that we are willing to move forward again, for the next stage to unfold.

The disciples needed a positive pause, they were, experiencing first-hand the greatest days in history. They needed to be mentally, physically emotionally ready for what was coming next. Prayer became their focus. I wonder how they coped with the waiting? Some would have been patient, others fretting and ‘chaffing at the bit’? Many probably a mix of them all?

Today we live in historic times. Pandemic has shaken our world. Old certainties tumbled away. So, we positively wait in prayer. To be refreshed and restored, reinvigorated with hope and expectation. How important it will be to re-establish relationships, visit relatives take holiday. Get strong in mind and body. Ready for a new, and as yet unknown future. Hudson Taylor the great Missionary into China is accredited as saying, ‘The Church goes to Work on its knees’.

Acts 2 begins with a large house in Jerusalem that was being used as a prayer space. Around about 120 Jesus followers in focused prayer waiting. Waiting. Waiting. It was the Jewish festival of Pentecost. A celebration of harvest, that attracted God following Jews from around the known world. The spectrum of humanity in all its colour and shades, was centred on the city.

Suddenly in that house of prayer, there was the sound of a mighty howling wind. Yet nothing was being blown around. This terrific sound was sweeping across the borders of the building and into the community.

Suddenly there was extra light in the room, a flame of fire, tongues of which separated and came to rest on each one of them.

Suddenly the disciples discovered they could speak in numerous foreign languages, as they spontaneously started praising the wonder of God. God is Wonder full! The first act of the Holy Spirit was to remind His followers GOD IS WONDER FULL. The outworking of which, was that sparks began to fly.

The racket of the violent wind, tugged the wider neighbourhood towards the house of prayer. On arrival these people are further astonished to see and hear, Jesus people, ordinary locals, now filled with the Holy Spirit and supernaturally able to speak in a whole host of different languages.  

Notice how the flame of the Spirit, quickly moves the Jesus followers out of the building and into the world. Then there was those God fearing Jews from every nation, who on hearing the good news message, would very soon be carrying home the flame of the Spirit. They became the fire starters into their own nations.

 

On that day of Pentecost 3,000 people carried the flame, giving their lives to Jesus. The inauguration of the Church. Jesus people, filled with the Spirit, following the Fathers will, ‘Thy Kingdom Come Thy Will be done on earth as in heaven’.

In anticipation of a better season ahead, may we too become fire starters for Jesus.

A poem by William Blake to end:

Unless the eye catch fire, The God will not be seen.

Unless the ear catch fire, The God will not be heard.

Unless the tongue catch fire, The God will not be named.

Unless the heart catch fire, The God will not be loved.

Unless the mind catch fire, The God will not be known.

 

 

Every blessing

Andrew Bird