May 23, 2021

Romans 8:22-27

“The Spirit Groans”

A couple of weeks ago in our online Sunday School, the children were invited to write a poem about the Holy Spirit. The lesson gave us a simple format for doing that. The first line would be the title: “Spirit.” The second line would be two words that describe the Spirit like “invisible” and “powerful.”

For the third line, we had to think of three action words (verbs) that tell what the Spirit does. I would choose “blessing,” “teaching,” and “sending.”

The instruction for the fourth line was “four words that describe your feelings about the Spirit.” That was a tough one. For me, they’d be “nervous,” “encouraged,” “thankful,” and “hopeful.”

And finally, one word that is another name or word for the Spirit. There are several other names offered in the Bible. And as I think about it today, in the context of my reflection on today’s readings, I choose “Intercessor,” which means someone who prays for us.

You might want to write your own poem about the Holy Spirit today, either following the same template or making up your own. On this Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the gathered … Read more »

May 31, 2020

Acts 2:1-21
John 7:37-39

“Channels of Living Water”

On Thursday evenings when First Church folk gather on Zoom for “Tea and a Chat,” I usually offer some kind of brief devotional or reflection, along with a question for discussion. This week, I highlighted the story of that first Pentecost after Jesus’ death and resurrection, and noted the way that God surprised the first Apostles with the powerful experience of God’s presence in wind and fire, and the challenging mission of proclaiming God’s deeds of power to the world.

It’s not unusual for God to show up in people’s lives with an element of surprise. It happened many times throughout the stories of Scripture, and our little group on Zoom shared stories of our own experiences of being surprised by God, often in a positive way. I could have honestly said that I was surprised to be moving to Regina three years ago, and that I was surprised to be saying “yes” to a nomination to be Moderator of our church. But looking back, many of those surprises came with both challenges and also blessings.

Another topic of conversation in our First Church fellowship gatherings online this week has been “the wind.” On Tuesday evening, our … Read more »