Hi Everyone! Hope you’re all doing OK and enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend! Here’s this week’s summary post for the following verse: “At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of god. All those who heard him were astonished …
Author: Sarah Haynes
HI MUMMY MEDITATORS!
Firstly a big warm welcome to you if this is your first time reading one of the summary posts after joining Mummy Meditations, where we look at one verse from the Bible each week and what a week it’s been!
So a huge thank you to all of you for joining us and sharing in the discussions as we looked at the following verse in Acts:
“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:2-4
What an incredible moment!! The Helper that Jesus spoke about was now here and wow what an entrance! I wonder how they must have felt? Shocked? Scared? Or in absolute awe?! Probably a whole range of emotions I imagine!
Rachel started off this weeks discussion over in the Facebook Group with these questions for us,
“How do you feel about Pentecost? Does it excite/scare you?”
And there was a real mix of responses, ranging from it feeling quite frightening and terrifying, through to amazed, exciting and awesome!
I know for me there’s definitely an element of all those!
As the verse starts with a suddenly! Which must have been quite a shock just suddenly hearing this sound. I wonder what that was truly like to experience? ‘…a sound like the blowing of a violent wind‘(Acts 2:2) filling the whole house.
I’d love to know if it’s describing what it actually sounded like or whether this sound was just so powerful that it had the same physical effect as a violent wind? Or was it both?!
I think either way there must have been an element of fear, at least initially, as it will have been so unlike anything they had ever experienced before.
Which maybe why it’s difficult for the writer to fully describe what happened as they go on to tell us that ‘They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.’ (Acts 2:3)
Now that must have been quite something too! Another rather indescribable experience I imagine.
Which I think links us quite nicely to how we often feel when it comes to sharing our faith. As our spirituality and experience of faith can be something difficult to fully describe and put into words. So we may struggle at times to express to others how we love Jesus and how much our faith means to us, and therefore just how much we long for them know and experience the same.
I know this is something I often struggle with and others expressed similar too over in the Facebook Group when Rachel asked about what barriers we faced when sharing the Gospel in our community.
FAITH OR FEAR? (OR BOTH?!)
The other main barrier that so many of you shared was that common struggle with fear, and I’m the same. Fear of not knowing quite what to say and when to say it, fear of ‘getting it wrong’, fear of being misunderstood and ultimately the fear of rejection, both for yourself and of the Gospel message. And it’s this fear that can so often hold us back and prevents us from fully stepping out and speaking out in faith at times.
But there is Hope! The Holy Spirit is described in John 16:7 in different Bible translations as The Helper, Comforter, Counsellor, Intercessor, Strengthener, Divine Encourager and Advocate, wow! So we are not alone in trying to overcome our fears and to step out more in faith.
So just as the Spirit came to them that day, I believe that the very same Holy Spirit is fully available to us and will help guide us and give us the faith, wisdom, courage, power, strength, comfort and peace that we seek in Him.
And because we are all created in such a beautiful and unique way, I believe we all relate and experience His presence differently too.
Even though there can be an element of fear surrounding those differences, as my own personal experience was once that of fear initially. I wasn’t brought up in Church, so a lot of things were quite new anyway and so whenever I heard or saw anything relating to the Holy Spirit I felt so out of my comfort zone!
But thankfully this is no longer the case as much as it was and I actually gain a lot of comfort from knowing and experiencing His presence in a more tangible way now at times. I’m learning more and more though, that our relationship with God is a very unique and personal one and so no two people’s journey or expression of faith will be the same and that’s a positive thing!
So we don’t need to worry, or compare or feel any fear or pressure over these things. It’s just between you and God which is very reassuring! As it’s your own relationship, communication and connection, in whatever way that grows best for you.
SUMMARY & FINAL REFLECTION
So as we’ve mentioned already, I imagine that those present on that day of Pentecost, also experienced fear too. Then perhaps that changed to become a mixture of both fear and some comfort as the tongues of fire separated and rested on each of them, before presumably they then began to feel their faith rise more after that, standing confidently as they began speaking in different tongues.
But we won’t know for sure, because it doesn’t say exactly how they felt, so it’s just a thought. But I find it helpful to think that it potentially describes their journey of one from fear, towards both fear and faith, through to an even stronger faith with less fear, knowing now that the Holy Spirit was now with them.
I thought it was really helpful too when one member explained that she liked the word ‘rest’ when it talked about the tongues of fire, as it suggests calm. So after a sudden dramatic sound, came the tongues of fire that came to rest on each of them.
So may we continue to rest and meditate on these verses with reverence, awe and wonder at the incredible and mighty power of our God. Whilst also taking comfort in them. Knowing that no matter what our thoughts, feelings or any of our potential theological differences surrounding the Holy Spirit today etc, it’s about knowing that with God’s help, in whatever shape or form, us Mums who are all imperfect, sometimes fearful and wrestling with our doubts, weaknesses and failures etc, can still be used by God to help the powerful message of the Gospel continue to be shared from that Pentecost day through to this present one and beyond.
Providing our lost and hurting world with the love, hope and forgiveness in Jesus that we all so desperately need.
May we never take our faith or that day of Pentecost for granted, I am forever grateful to Jesus and for His wonderful Helper, Counsellor, Comforter and Advocate too.
And it’s amazing to think that we only know about Him because of that very special day described in Acts. Even though it was so long ago, the Gospel message has been shared the world over, from generation to generation, by people whom I imagine experienced that same blend of faith and fear that we often face too, but who stepped out in faith despite any fear, helping them to overcome their own barriers with the help of the Holy Spirit.
So Lord may you help us to do the same with whatever fear or barriers we are all currently facing.
I hope you all have a blessed week, and join us on Tuesday night at 8pm for a Facebook Live with our newest Mummy Meditations Champion, Helen! Our verse for the next week is:
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47
Hello Mummy Meditations Community! It’s Sarah here!
Welcome to my first ever summary post and our very last one for 2019! With Christmas only 3 days away (Eek!) and 2020 just round the corner, marking the start of another new decade already, I just don’t know where the time goes!
So however you are feeling today about all the Christmas preparations, whether you’ve been super-organised from the off or are sat here kinda wishing that you were! I hope you are able to benefit from spending just a few minutes reflecting on this week’s verse, which brings us to the end of our “Hello My Name Is…” series focusing on the unnamed women in the Bible.
Here’s a reminder of the verse:
“Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.” Luke 7:14-15
Last week we looked at how Jesus said “Don’t cry” to the grieving widow after her only son had died. Rachel asked us how we may have felt in this situation if these words were spoken to us. On face value I wasn’t sure how I would have taken it! Though in context many people acknowledged that it came from a place of compassion, as the previous few words in the verse tell us that ‘his heart went out to her’.
Jesus was moved with compassion and knew exactly what he was about to do….the miracle that we see in this week’s verse.
THE POWER OF WORDS
Words can be so powerful! The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death,…”. This is both and encouragement and a challenge to us!
Rachel shared in the Facebook Live discussion at the beginning of the week, about how a few months ago she particularly recognised the power of her words spoken to her son, and that by deciding to become more intentionally positive, this had brought about powerful change!
So how have we used our words this week? Have we spoken life and encouragement or have we used our words to hurt or discourage?
None of us are perfect in this area and so it’s good to think about how we can use our words in a more intentionally positive way. To help strengthen, support, build up and encourage one another and our family and friends this Christmas season and beyond.
Which is sometimes easier said than done! Particularly at this time of year when tensions and stress levels are prone to rise!
So let’s be extra vigilant in not allowing ourselves to be potentially drawn in and slip into any destructive negativity, gossip or unhelpful criticism etc (including on social media!) But to instead, intentionally use the power of our words to help positively shape and change the atmosphere and environment around us.
OUR CHILDREN ARE A GIFT AND A BLESSING
The final few words in the verse said that “…Jesus gave him back to his mother.” This sparked discussion during the Facebook live session about how this made us feel. One member of the group said how these words sound to her like Jesus is giving the son as a gift to his mother and how our children are gifts to us too.
Another member mentioned how the widow must have felt such huge relief to have him back and Rachel explained the significance for the widow with him being her only son, in regards to her future, her protection and her provision.
Discussion continued about how our children are a real blessing….whether it always feels like that in every moment or not! It’s a biblical truth worth remembering even in the midst of being surrounded by all the mess and chaos that can occur with family life, especially at Christmas!
Rachel encouraged us all to do our best to treasure and cherish all the precious moments we have together as we raise our families, no matter what life stage they are in.
This links nicely again with thinking about our words. How do we view, think and speak of our children, during the best of times and the toughest of times? How do we speak to our children? What narrative are we giving them for their lives?
One member talked about having a family ‘mantra’, a kind of motto that can help build and shape our families as they grow. Rachel spoke about her own family values of being kind, loving and generous. She explained that as she is starting to share and model these to her boys, she is seeing these very values now grow and start to bear fruit within their own lives, even at a young age. So our words are definitely powerful!
This week I have been challenged to think more intentionally about not only my words, but of all that Jesus has done for me, the significance of that in my life and just what a gift and a blessing children are (even if they do happen to wake up at 4am on Christmas Day!) We have the privilege of raising our families for Him and thankfully He is with us and for us throughout the journey.
So no matter what we are going through, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus sees, has compassion and speaks life!
Just like he did for the unnamed widow of Nain.
Mummy Meditations will be taking a short break now so we can enjoy some extra time with our families and concentrate on that. Do keep inviting friends to join the Facebook Group, where the news of our new series has just been shared:
So do join us in January as we kick start 2020 with a series looking at Ruth (start date TBC).
But until then, hope you all have a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year!