Reflection for the Day of Pentecost, May 31, 2020.
When Jesus taught the crowds He used broad, general principles and avoided laying down rules like the Scribes and Pharisees. The Beatitudes are a good example of Jesus’ method – Blessed are the poor in spirit – Blessed are the peacemakers. But how exactly are we to be peacemakers? We have the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Christian ethics are seldom black and white. How are we to interpret the injunction to be angry and sin not (Eph 4.26). We need the Spirit’s guidance to decide when our anger becomes sinful.
This guidance does not usually come in a vision or in some ecstatic experience. The Spirit works in and through our mental processes and we may have to work hard to reach an understanding of the way ahead.
Romans 8 is Paul’s statement about the work of the Holy Spirit. He makes two very important observations. First we must dwell in Christ, always aware of His presence in the Spirit and listening. Second, Paul speaks of our mindset, our values, our assumptions, our desires. We need to develop a sense of a life lived in the Spirit and in dependence on His presence.
Reverend Dr Calum Gilmour