I’m a wife, a mother of three children and the main bread-winner for our family. All you who are also Mums will know how hectic that can get, and how hard it can be to find time for yourself, let alone any kind of spiritual life. I’m also an average, normal Christian.
I strive and struggle to make my relationship with God relevant to the way I relate, parent and work. How does my faith make a difference to the kind of person I am, to the qualities of my character? When I was 17, I wrote the following:
“I aspire to be a woman of integrity, graciousness, courage, wisdom and holiness.”
17 year olds do tend to be idealistic, but this is still the standard I measure myself against. When I look back over the
years (ahem) decades since I wrote this, I can see that while I’ve made good progress, I also have a long way to grow.
This coming Sunday is the Christian celebration of Pentecost.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs – we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’ Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’
(Extract from Acts 2 (NIVUK) – I strongly suggest you go and read the whole passage here)
The story of Pentecost is about the empowering of God’s Spirit. It’s about a group of (mostly) uneducated disciples, that were transformed to speak with courage and wisdom. Peter, who only a few short weeks ago had denied Jesus in fear, now preached boldly, standing up to the religious leaders of the day. And three thousand people were added to the believers in one day. They went on to lead vastly different lives from what any of them had imagined.
I need that kind of empowering in my daily life too. I need to make the space to breathe in God’s presence, to encounter the Spirit afresh.
How do you make space for God’s Spirit?
(P.S. for a good 2 minute video summary of Pentecost and how it’s relevant, check this out.)