Monday, 29 June 2009

Stand up

Opening Prayer

Here I am Lord,
Speak to me
within my heart and soul.
I am listening.

Acts 2:14

‘Then Peter stood up’

The crowd thought we had been drinking - it was an easy mistake to make- in fact it wouldn’t have been totally out of the question.

It was festival after all. We had been cooped up in hiding for so long
a drink would have been welcome; and we did have a reputation
for drinking and enjoying ourselves even when the Lord was with us. And Peter was always in the thick of that.

And that’s it really – that’s what gives it away – Peter was thick. Not stupid, just one of those practical men who talks with his hands – wants to do stuff not talk about it - puts his foot in it when he does. Fishermen don’t do too much talking, don’t go to Temple, don’t know scripture - don’t like crowds or people much.

And Peter was still like that, never liked the Lord being surrounded by the crowds, couldn’t cope with miracles and had barely forgiven himself for what had happened at the trial. He knew he was supposed to be the leader now – ok – as long as it’s the practical stuff. But he couldn’t do the ‘inspiring’ bit – couldn’t imagine how. Maybe he though Andrew would be the spokesman, or James or John? All better at it than he was.

But when the Spirit came down on all of us we knew that we were transformed; that the breath in us was like fire freeing our hearts.
And we all spoke; but the voice that came from us was not ours but the Lord’s. Everything he had told us before and after the Resurrection, even the things we had forgotten; now made sense, had a rhythm -had a need to be told.

And we did speak, without fear, to everyone – the feeling was fantastic.

And I knew when Peter stood up, that that was it. No fear, no trembling voice; full of authority; the voice of a witness. This was for real; the next part of the journey started here. It was up to us to make the difference - we all had to stand up.

ContemplationNow what?

I lit the Paschal candle today in church, and discovered I was not supposed to. The Feasts are over, Really?

Pentecost can seem like the end of the road, the Great Adventure has come to its climax – Lent, Easter and the Resurrection journey has brought us to the Holy Spirit and back into Ordinary Time.

What a strange phrase really. If we have followed the Great Adventure, then this is not ordinary but Extraordinary Time –
now that the Holy Spirit has breathed into us, now that we travel in the shadow of Her wings - this time, surely, is all about the journey to the Kingdom.

This is when we should know that we are community; that we should all be standing up to be witnesses; that we should be trying to make a difference - and if we think we can’t be like that, we should know we can because we are not on our own.

Today is Trinity Sunday – the Gospels have brought together all the aspects of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit to be with us.
To invite us to be with, through and in Him.

To be so full of God that we need to pass Him on, share Her out, in what we say and, more importantly, in what we do.
So stand up.

Closing Prayer
May the blessing of the Sacred Three
The Father who gave us the Word
The Son who is the Word
The Spirit who opens the Word within us
Be with us today and evermore.Amen

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