The only thing that doesn’t change is the fact that everything changes…
I’ve been riding my bike a lot these last few weeks… round about Urmston and Davyhulme. Its not a posh bike – in fact its a pretty workaday thing. Old, past its best (its aluminium frame was only guaranteed for ten years and that’s long gone), but it has carried me all over and I love it.
I have ridden on it around the Orkneys, and Tiree, Coll, the Isles of Lewis and Harris, and other bits of Scotland; its carried me round Holland, all the way from Hoek van Holland to Texel and back via Arnhem, Enkhuisen, Amsterdam. Its a great travelling companion.
For a bike its pretty comfortable; Its reliable – mostly, and always there.
150 years ago, when St Clements was built, bikes looked very different. The first mechanically propelled bicycle in these shores was built by a Scottish blacksmith in 1839, but the first commercially popular design was French, and was made around 1863. Its rigid iron construction and metal wheels earned it the name ‘boneshaker’.
thank goodness for change! I wouldn’t have wanted to ride that one round Holland. It wasn’t until 1889 that bikes had the diamond frame that we recognise today, and pneumatic tyres.
My bike may not be cutting edge but it has brakes, mudguards, gears, and most importantly, rubber tyres inflated with air!
Riding is now comfortable, relatively speaking of course (not as comfy as lying on a memory foam bed, or swimming in a hammock), and its something that many of us take for granted. Inflated tyres are something of a safety feature nowadays – its easier to steer and go in the right direction anyway.
The same can be said for the Holy Spirit – one word for which is ‘pneuma’ meaning ‘breath’.
the Holy Spirit, that is God as guide and comforter, is often portrayed as wind, as well as fire, or as a dove.
The Holy Spirit eases our path through divine guidance, encouragement, support and refreshment. Comforter in this case doesn’t mean ‘there there, it will all be ok’, rather it means, ‘trust and you will always have a guide; listen, and you will never be alone’
And whilst all around us changes, the power of the Holy Spirit, which is one with God never does.
On Pentecost Sunday (4th June this year) we celebrated the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church; that is, a gift to us, but also a gift to you and me as individuals. With the inspiration of the Spirit, we are able to do amazing things in Jesus name.
This Pentecost was particularly inspiring for me… It says in John’s Gospel, ‘God is Love, and those who live in Love live in God, and God lives in them’; the outpouring of Love, the sharing of that between people at the concert at Old Trafford in memory of those who died in the bombing was incredible. Truly God was pouring out his spirit in that place. I doubt that when it was organised anyone ever thought about Pentecost, but watching it on TV I was so glad it was happening. Love, compassion, anger, and were present in that place; people joining to celebrate life and love, and to defy the power of death that attempted to hold people in its sway. As a country we can be proud of our young people, as a country we can be encouraged by that expression of love and hope which crossed all boundaries.
And what a fitting tribute to those who died as a result of acts of terrorism, not just in Manchester, but all around the world.
May their souls rest in peace and rise in Glory.
Thanks be to God.