Sermons and Talks

Video: Stay at Home Spiritual Care for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 17 2020

As we begin a new day, at the start of a new week, please join me for worship with a service of Morning Prayer for the 6th Sunday of Easter. You can join me by clicking on the link below. This service will also be made available on the All Saints website. I have likewise provided a short reflection below.

YouTube link: 

Some thoughts on today’s scripture John 14:15-21

Jesus is aware that the imminent loss of his physical presence will be a big blow for his disciples. He reassures them “‘I will not leave you orphaned”. The loss of his physical presence will be made up to them by the sending of the Holy Spirit, who will be with them permanently.

In our changing and increasingly secularised society, one can easily feel a sense of loss and abandonment, but the Holy Spirit continues to guide and inspire us into new and creative forms of communicating the Good News in ways that are relevant to today’s world.

I do not need to rely on my own resources but turn to God who promises to help me, ready to send the Holy Spirit. To be open to the spirit, I must quieten first my body, then my heart. In this time of quiet God teaches me to see my world differently; I don’t act in it alone but am accompanied by God’s ever-present Spirit – the Spirit of Truth.

 Living in the Spirit of Truth can mean that whether life is good or bad, whether we are cruising or battling, even if we struggle to get out of bed in the morning or to put one foot in front of the other, the Spirit of the living Christ gives us the ability to trust that God is with us, for us and in us. As the Spirit of Truth lives in us, we share in the life of Jesus, and nothing, not even death, can overcome it.

 In a lot of ways our understanding of the Holy Spirit needs to be founded on what Jesus says to us in this passage. The gift of the Spirit is to bring us into God’s Truth – that we are one with the Father through the Son by the power of the Spirit. In this new relationship, we can find a God who loves us, that we can love in return, and we can live in ways that bring life to ourselves and to others as we follow Jesus’ commands in faith, hope and love.

More to think about:

How do you picture the Holy Spirit? What do you think of the picture of the Spirit as someone who stands beside us to speak for us and to us? What do you like about it? What is difficult for you?

How do you understand the idea of ‘truth’? Do you believe there are absolute truths (always true, no matter what)? What might they be? Are some truths relative (different for different people at different times)? How do you work out what truths are absolute and which are relative?

Some years ago I came across the idea that the Spirit of Truth Jesus talks about is his Spirit because Jesus is God’s Truth. What do you think of this idea: that Truth from a biblical point of view is more about a person with whom we can have a relationship than an idea to be discussed and debated?

Do you find it easy or difficult to believe that you are one with God the Father through Jesus the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit? What makes it a challenge? What helps you to believe it?

How might you live tomorrow differently if you were to go into it believing that you are one with God through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit? How might that faith shape what you do & say to others?