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Showing posts from May, 2018

Living the TRI-uNITY

Romans 8.12-17 This is at first sight, a strange passage for Trinity Sunday: it should really be a reading for Pentecost because it is about the Spirit – about being led by the Spirit. But the Spirit cannot be separated from the Father or the Son. For a start, the Spirit here is described as ‘the Spirit’, as the ‘Spirit of God’ (v14), and as the ‘Spirit of Christ’ (v9). And we are told that the Spirit is the Spirit of adoption (v15): If we are led by the Spirit, we are adopted into God’s family. We are not, in our human fallen state, children of God – not children in that special way. But when the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of Christ, comes into our lives, when we receive the Spirit, we are born again – or ‘from above’ – by the Spirit. And we become adopted children in the family of God. And as people who have the Spirit, that means that we have all the privileges of being sons and daughters of God. And now we’re beginning to speak about Trinity.

Holy Spirit: our language teacher

John 15.26-27; 16.4-15 Holy Spirit is like a language teacher – a personal language tutor. Those of you who are language teachers, or who have had language teachers, will know that they have several tasks. They need to teach the skills of the language: the vocabulary and the grammar But they also need to teach their students how to live in the new language: how to see things in a new way, and how to think in a new way. If you start to live in a new language, you start to make different connections. For instance, one of the things I have wondered about is the difference between a language like Russian, which has gender differences deeply rooted in its language, and a language like English that is principally a-gender. And that must have an impact on how we think. Or it could be little connections that open up new ways of thinking for you. For example: Belgrade is the capital of Serbia. To somebody who does not know the language, it is just the name of a city.

The blessing of giving

2 Corinthians 9.6-15 This is our final week looking at giving. Today we are looking at the blessing of giving. When you give, there is great blessing There is blessing for you as an individual There is blessing for the church There is blessing to God There is blessing to you as an individual 9.6: ‘The one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully’. 9.8: ‘And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance’ 9.11: ‘You will be enriched in every way for your great generousity’. The Old Testament comes very close to saying that if you are generous, you will – in this life - receive back more than you give. Proverbs 11.25: ‘A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water.’ Proverbs 22.9: ‘Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor.’ Or when God speaks to the people through the prophet Malachi, he accuses them of stealing from him because they are not tithing. And he g