Showing posts from June, 2019

Acts 2:1-4 The fire of the Holy Spirit

Acts 2.1-4
I was very struck, when I pointed to that banner and asked someone what is was about, that the answer they gave me was, 'hell'.
Fire can represent the absence of God: hell and destruction. Sodom and Gomorrah are two cities in the Old Testament, where people had rejected God and there was serial violence and abuse, and they are destroyed by fire (Genesis 3:24) Jesus speaks of the ‘eternal fire’ of hell (Matthew 18:8); Revelation speaks of the second death being a lake of fire, into which even death and hades are thrown (Revelation 20:14) And we may be familiar with those images of hell: of Dante’s inferno (although interestingly, the deepest pit of hell is not fire, but ice - the absence even of heat), Hieronymus Bosch’s nightmares, and the icons of the last judgement.
But fire is also about the presence of God God appears to Moses in a burning bush (Exodus 3:2) God leads the people of Israel, at night, by a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21) Malachi speaks of the comin…

What Christians have in common.

Ezekiel 36.24-28

Great to be together at this joint service
God has a restoration programme! Not a building – more personal and more cosmic. He wishes to restore humanity – so that we become the people who he made us to be - and, through us, restore creation so that creation is as it was supposed to be.
God is in the business of making a new people.
That is what Ezekiel 36.24-28 is all about
1.He gathers us.
God speaks through Ezekiel to his people and says ‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land’ (v24) He is speaking to Israel, to his people in the Old Testament. They have been scattered. They had been exiled to the North and East, Babylon, and to the South and West, Egypt. And this verse was fulfilled when the Jews returned from exile to the land of Israel.
But that was just a small preview, a taster, of what God is going to do. When he sends Jesus, his unique and only Son, into the world, God does a new and ama…