Thursday, 19 May 2016

Pentecost Sunday 15 May 2016 Sermon

Pentecost Sunday 15.5.16 Spirit of Truth

The Holy Spirit reveals the truth. The truth is already in place, but we do not see it, because of our human limitations, accentuated by our sinfulness.

We are creatures of the flesh, aspiring to the spiritual world. It is not easy for us, but this is where the Holy Spirit helps. He helps us to ‘see’ with spiritual eyes what the flesh alone could never reach.

He reveals the truth which convicts us of our sinfulness and error, and induces us to change our way of life. This is the essence of conversion, something which each soul needs.

It is only spiritual blindness which obscures our vision of God, which weakens our faith.

If we could only perceive God clearly through all the contrary and distracting lights, we would never doubt Him for a second, much less disobey Him.

So the Holy Spirit comes. He came at that first Pentecost; and He comes whenever He is invited with sincerity. He will do what He can, according to the disposition of those asking Him to come.

If there is much prayer, and many praying together, the effects will be greater, as we see at the first Pentecost.

But even one person can ask and He will respond.

God wants people to know Him. But He also wants us to seek Him. He will not show Himself to the world like a video display, where we are only spectators.

He will show Himself to us in proportion to our desire for Him. If we really want to know God and be His disciples, then the Holy Spirit will come powerfully.

Even if we only partially desire Him, that may be enough to light the flame, to which the Holy Spirit will then add His own fire.

He will give us enough taste of the wonders of God to seek more, and that is what we are now doing.

The Holy Spirit wants to reach every single person on the face of the earth – those who presently believe in Him (to sustain and increase their faith); and those who do not yet know Him, or have abandoned belief (to establish or restore faith).

God can do all things, but surrenders some freedom to us as He respects our free will. Instead of force He uses persuasion. He seeks to attract us, so that we will be drawn to Him, and respond joyfully.

This is how the whole interaction between God and us is meant to happen. He never intended that we would see devotion to Him as a kind of obligation or chore, something we had to do, or be punished.

It is meant to be as natural and spontaneous as falling in love.

The Holy Spirit will make this plain to us, but only if we give Him a chance to work on us.

This is why we have to pray for Him to come. It is a proof of our willingness to learn more than we presently know; a gesture of humility by which we are admitting that we are not sufficient to ourselves.

Many try to exclude God from His own universe. It can never lead to happiness, causing instead much frustration.

It also causes much confusion among those who do or would believe. The present world pours out a constant stream of false or mistaken doctrines.

No one can remove God, but they might succeed in obscuring Him. All the more then do we need the Spirit of truth to clear away the clouds and let the light of God shine in.

When we see, really see, we are ready, like the apostles, to risk our lives. We are not thinking of ourselves, finally, but of what God wants.

We will be radiating the presence of God.

And people will want to join us, as they did on that first Pentecost.

Churches will be full; enthusiasm will be the norm not the exception.

For this state of things to arrive, we pray today: Come, Holy Ghost!

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