Message from our ‘new’ Minister- Rev. Jonathan Humphrey
In the church “calendar” we are in the season of Pentecost and taking time to look at the impact of the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit on the early believers (see Acts 2). It has always struck me that something new and wonderful was created through the gift of the Holy Spirit– namely vibrant and ever expanding Christian community. This community “devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2: 42).
For me this passage suggests that in the life of our congregations, devotion to fellowship is as important as listening to teaching (i.e. a sermon) or breaking bread and praying together. Jesus spent time with people and with his disciples building fellowship, comforting, challenging and encouraging. A large part of ministry, and the call on all of us as the people of God, is to build relationships and to encourage everyone to find faith and grow in it. Growing in our faith requires that we are deliberate in safeguarding our relationship with Jesus. The more we get to know Him, the more we are transformed into his likeness. This is about raising the “relationship bar” on all fronts, with God and each other. The first Christians were:
“together and had all things in common. And they were selling possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all as they had need. And day by day attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favour with all the people.” (Acts 2: 44-47)
This is a challenging blueprint for us all. But I am becoming more and more convinced that as we “do what’s in the book (the Bible)” particularly in the area of relationships and giving, we will see the revival that we all seek and pray for.
Pentecost was not a one-off! We are supposed to be living daily in the continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
God’s word to us is quite clear – “awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles” (Acts 2: 42). Of course wonders and signs are the work of God through the Holy Spirit, but there is a call on us as well to partner with what He is doing and be a community that is different – that changes the spiritual atmosphere around us. I long for the day, and I pray that it is coming soon, where people can come amongst us in Kirkhill and Kiltarlity and say like Jacob did at Bethel “surely the Lord is in this place – and I did not know it” (Genesis 28: 16).