Jenny’s letter 21st April

Dear Friends,

In my daily prayers (currently, I use Lectio 365) we are thinking about the work of the Holy Spirit as ‘the breath of God with the power of resurrection life.’ What a wonderful image. But it is more than just a helpful word picture, it is a fundamental spiritual truth.

Through our faith in Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit we can be reborn and made new. This once and for all transformation is celebrated by the church at Baptism though some people come to Jesus and confess him as Lord and Saviour in the privacy of their own homes or at a huge public event.  It is not just St Paul who writes about Justification in Romans, but Isaiah [61.10] also references what happens to us when we believe in Jesus.

The writer says, ‘I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of His righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.’ I find this such a humbling and encouraging belief to hold onto. Of course, I am not worthy of this but not one of us is. That is what makes salvation such a generous gift.

In the letter to the Colossians 3.14, Paul and Timothy write,’Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.’

To return to my original image, that of the Holy Spirit as the breath of God with power of resurrection life, this is not just a once and for all breath but by his power and in his gift, we can again and again be restored. We talk sometimes about resurrecting a tradition on an object. When we say that, we mean to give whatever it is, new life and purpose. As we live a life of discipleship, we can ask daily to be renewed in mind and body and spirit. Of course, this requires a willingness on our part to let the Spirit move within us. We are the temples of the Holy Spirit. You need not ask for the Spirit to dwell in you if you are a baptised Christian, but sometimes, we can shut down our body and our mind to his movement and turn our backs on what is offered to us. This may not always be intentional so we should be mindful of that possibility. 

As a Church community we also need to pray for the breath of the Holy Spirit to bring life and resurrection to our church. There have been so many wonderful signs in the last year, but we need to strengthen and build on those things. Come Holy Spirit and move among us, not just within us. Having largely ignored the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative since Covid it is time for us to return to it.

Thy Kingdom Come is a Prayer initiative that takes place between Ascension and Pentecost. It begins on 9th May this year and ends on 19th May. The idea is that we pray for the renewal of the church, for opportunities for mission and to individually commit to praying for five people. To support the last part of this objective we will be offering you small bags with five stones inside. A prompt to remind us and to support us as we pray.

Jenny Hope is taking the lead on this and will no doubt approach others to assist in making up the bags. On the 19th May we will have a special Pentecost Service and a chance for us to bring a little extra joy as we encourage one another to wear orange, red and yellow colours. Further ideas for these 10 days will follow shortly. If you personally have any good thoughts on what we can do together in that week, please do let me know. 

Finally, a nudge to remind you that the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) will take place after church at around 12 noon on Sunday 28th April. Anyone on the electoral role is encouraged to be there and to stand for PCC. We need new people alongside those of us who have been around a bit longer. There are four vacancies for PCC. We then also have a vacancy for Wirral South Deanery Synod. That person, because of their role, is automatically a member of PCC. In addition, we need two Churchwardens. I have received one nomination. We need another. I am wondering who the Lord is calling… Whoever you are, I pledge my support and encouragement alongside a review of the role and responsibilities. 

May you see the Spirit working in your life and the life of our Church, 

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