June 5, 2021

We Fix Our Eyes On Things Unseen (Proper 10)


Pentecost is the longest, most practical and probably most important season of the Church year. Pentecost is about the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the daily lives of believers. We are prepared for the Holy Spirit by the teachings of:

       Advent - OT history of God reaching out, making covenants

       Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter - who Jesus isand His mission and our mission

       Ascension - Jesus promises Holy Spiritto guide us

       Trinity - defines the love relationship, work of Holy Spirit as the continuing presence of Jesus in the World

       This week we learn that we have to focus on what is unseen and expect opposition from those who do not understand Holy Spirit

       We are warned Christians will not be understood – and need a support community where they can safely share their own experiences of the Holly Spirit 

1.   The Pharisees think Jesus is possessed

They are jealous of the crowds following Him. They did not believe in the Old Testament prophesies of a divine Savior. They believe Jesus is an imposter. They believe He is demon possessed. They want to silence Him - and protect their statusas the official teachers of Israel.

      Jesus explains that Satan would not cast out Satan

      They are silenced

      Jesus authenticity is proven by the physical evidence

      We all find this very hard to believe - until we have personal experiences of the Holy Spirit and the supernatural dimension described in the Bible


2.   Jesus'Family think He out of His mind

Like many Christians they do not really understand who Jesus is and the reality of the spiritual battle in the supernatural dimension. Like we are focusing on what is seen.

·     Miraculous healing and the deliverance are very spectacular 

·     As we would be,  they were afraid He was mad.

·      I know what this is like – preached on healing ministry - Bishop was rolling his eyes 

·     Modern Anglican clergy have no training in Holy Spirit prayer ministry

·     As we go through the Book of Acts we see a very different early church that was actually led by words of knowledge from the Holy Spirit

·     Healing prayer ministry inspired the faith of early Christians – and strengthened them for persecution

3. Life in the Spirit is based on personal experience

I am a cradle Anglican and do not recall any teaching on the Holy Spirit. Like many people I grew up in a liberal intellectual family and did not take the Biblical miracles very seriously. Like many people I did not read the Bible until I faced a life crisis and needed an urgent answer.

·      I started to really notice the Holy Spirit.

·     Charismatic revival in 1970s,  attended conferences on Holy Spirit and Healing

·     Cried out for help - Experienced Holy Spirit and healing

·     Learned I could pray for people - something happened

·     Experienced great love, joy, peace, healing and words of knowledge (boat and word “anger” )– and persecution

·     All Christians receive  Holy Spirit in Baptism but  Many are not aware 

·     Men for example are less intuitive than women 

·     We all need a safe place to gradually learn about, pray about and begin to experience the Holy Spirit

·     We need to focus more on what is unseen

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