Main Readings: Zephaniah 3.14-20; For the Psalm: ‘A Song of Isaiah’ (APBA p.391); Philippians 4.4-7; Luke 3.7-18
Supplementary Readings: Psalm 18.1-17; 2 Corinthians 5.11-6.1; Isaiah 51.9-16; Psalm 18.18-26; John 3.22-36
“John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’” (Luke 3.16)
When I was baptised in the 1930s at the age of 18, I must have been filled with the Holy Spirit, but I didn’t know. For decades the Holy Spirit was an enigma to me. Fifty years later in the 1980s, some lay evangelists came to speak at St David’s, Chelmer. They gave an address about the Holy Spirit and then invited congregation members to come forward and ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit. After that service when I came forward, I couldn’t buy enough books about the Holy Spirit.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit gave me more energy and fire to pray and serve God. The Holy Spirit helps us to be patient, kind, accepting and open so we can serve God faithfully. The Holy Spirit makes us smile – sour Christians put others off the faith. The Holy Spirit also helps us to be forgiving. To me, the most important part of living is being forgiving.
When I was young, the Holy Spirit didn’t mean much to me – the Holy Spirit just seemed to be tacked onto the end of prayers. But, the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Jesus. When we pray to Jesus, we are praying to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our advocate, praying for us.
A Spirit-filled person is patient, kind, joyful, peace-loving and forgiving, and you feel better having been with them.