Sunday 9th June

2 Corinthians 4: 13 – 5: 1

Three Sundays ago, we celebrated Pentecost, marking the day the Holy Spirit came and empowered, enabled and encouraged the Disciples to speak and act to spread the Gospel, the good news, about Jesus and what Jesus had taught them about God.

One of the ways that the Holy Spirit was experienced on that day was as God’s ruach, the Hebrew word meaning breath or wind.

Here is a balloon!  Not much to look at – flat and red, limp and lifeless.

But, if we put even our ordinary, human breath into it, it’s transformed!

Now it has shape and form, purpose and meaning, life and growth.

But, even when we tie a knot in the end, the air will eventually find its way out and the balloon will shrivel, lose its shape and form, its purpose and meaning, its life and growth – it will become flat, limp and lifeless again.

But, imagine being able to keep the balloon filled with air to stop it wasting away.  And, imagine the balloon as yourself, filled with God’s creative breath, to give you shape and form, purpose and meaning, life and growth. Now imagine being able to metaphorically ‘tie a knot in yourself’ to keep that breath inside us.  Great!  But you’ve caused yourself a problem!  Despite your best efforts, you will lose that ruach, because you’ve cut yourself off from the possibility of receiving God’s renewing breath.

For God is to be constantly able to re-inflate us, continuously able to ‘top us up’ with the breath of the Holy Spirit, such that we are always full of shape and form, purpose and meaning, life and growth, we will need to leave a part of us continually open to receiving that creative, life-giving and transforming breath.

In order to stop that life-giving breath of God seeping away, balloon-like, we must remain open to being refilled and renewed by God’s Spirit which will help us to be continually filled with purpose and meaning, so that ‘even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed, day by day. (2 Corinthians 4: 16).

So, concentrating on filling our inner nature with God’s Holy Spirit will give shape and form and meaning to our outer nature.

The challenge to us then, is to keep ourselves open to being renewed by the breath of God’s Holy Spirit, keeping us lively, giving us shape and form, purpose and meaning, metaphorical balloons to celebrate what Christ does within us through the Holy Spirit.  After all balloons are usually for celebrations a rejoicing in all that God is doing for us in renewing us through our inner life, day by day.

Rev Janine