What’s the posture and positioning of technology which generates energy from wind and sun? In windy and sunny spots! Sure, in doldrum periods the wind drops and sun hides, but positioning is critical.
What was the posture and positioning of Jesus’ first followers as they prepared to receive and channel the Holy Spirit’s wind and fire? On their knees, humble and expectant in prayer, faithfully obeying Christ’s command. In the ‘Making their Mark’ documentary the Richmond Tigers win back-to-back Aussie Rules Football Titles, their top two values: ‘Humble & Hungry’. That’s perhaps as far as the comparison goes, but these Early Christians were ‘Humble’, looking for God’s enabling to fulfil Christ’s Command to reach The World, ‘Hungry’ for God’s Will and Way.
A few weeks ago, I used the striking images of old oil rigs, on their way out, alongside new wind turbines readied to catch wind, to describe the situation facing the Christian Church in Scotland and the Western World. Humbly we must be in prayer to find new ways to connect with and share the love and hope of Christ, growing new alongside old. New wineskins for new wine, like myriad wind turbines prepared for fresh gusts of God’s energising Spirit.
If Christmas and Easter affirm ‘God with us’ & ‘God for us’, Pentecost celebrates ‘Go in and through us’. Alas, we can suffer from false humility not wanting to trouble God, or drown in our own busyness and business, asking for ‘Me & Us’ rather than concerned to see Jesus’ Light, Love & Hope ripple and radiate across our community and land.
Jesus coined a cracking ‘Maw, Paw & The Broons’ story. At mid-night ‘friend of a friend’ rocks up to Joktan’s for sleep & sustenance. Jok’s cupboard’s bare, so he jumps next door to knock Broon’s door, “Gie us some breed will ye Broon!?” in a good Hebrew accent, of course.
Now, picture the Broon household: Dad sleeping at one end of the But ‘n Ben (tiny cottage) next to Mrs B, their 5 kids (all under 6) sound asleep at their feet; beyond them in this tight space, a snoozing dunkey, coo & chickens. “Will ye shut up & go away Jok, ye’ll waken the Mrs!” Jok bangs harder, “Please Broon, gie us some breed!” Mrs Broon’s beauty sleep seriously jeopardised, in no uncertain terms, she tells her man to get rid of their nagging neighbour. To no avail, and Yes, you’ve guessed it, “Waaaaaaaa!” soon the kids and babies are bawling & livestock adding their curdling cacophony of “Moos, He-Haws & Cheuk-Cheuks!” Soon the whole neighbourhood will be drawn into this Domestic. Eventually, bleary-eyed Broon gets up, lifts a loaf from his larder and crowns Jok with it, “Gie us piece!”
In Luke 11:9-13 (MSG) Jesus follows his hilarious story,
“Here’s what I’m saying: Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open. Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?”
Come Holy Spirit, overflow our lives with your love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, passionate patience & persistence. Equip us to build your people up & reach our neighbourhoods with your Love & Hope! Like windmills and kite-surfers may we catch and be caught in the energising flow of Your Spirit. Amen!