Lifeless branches burst into shades of vibrant green.
As those made new in Christ, we are witnesses of the spiritual greening of humanity once dead but now vitally alive through the Spirit’s green thumb stirring the barren soil of our souls to receive the living water of God through regenerated roots transplanted in him.
I wonder how it is then, we sometimes come to experience our Christian life as anything less than a rainforest of faith overgrown with possibilities, a garden of generosity growing grace at every turn, a jungle of joyful praise? But we do … and not just a few of us.
‘Spirit of the triune God, blow through our lives afresh.’
Sent as servant leaders into the world to bring multiple expressions of vibrant hope into deserts of damaged and deadened lives, we seek to widen the green-belt of transformation in ourselves as the Spirit blows more freely still. We welcome his work of conviction and cleansing; of comfort in testing; of dreams and visions; of revelation and guidance; of spiritual gifts to each member of the body; of ministry through apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers to renew a people of praise to God; of producing unity in diversity; of giving deep experiential knowledge of God’s love shaping each person as a unique planting of his grace.
We may at times feel limited, inhibited, prohibited; dry and lifeless as though the spring of resurrection life had never fully come to those of us who profess his name. False selves of dutiful law-bound motivation quench the reign of Spirit grace to know our true selves in a true knowledge of God’s love for us in Christ. But the Spirit still blows, exhibiting great desire for us to be made ever more free, ever more whole.
How might God be seeking to rejuvenate our souls as we leave old ways behind and lift our face to the Son; as we more intentionally enter the greening process of photosynthesis by the Spirit’s power at work in us to refresh the world with his good news?
May we encourage each other to position ourselves for his pentecostal grace to fall, ready to receive the Light of his Love to stimulate new shades of joyful living.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.’ (Galatians 5: 22-23)
‘Spirit of God, blow through our lives afresh as you did at Pentecost turning a routine feast in celebration of the giving of the law into the least expected event of consecrating a living church in awe of your power to save in Christ. Draw near, we pray, to surprise us with your never ceasing creativity to transform us into your likeness. When we become lifeless and dry, remind us that you are at work to
apply all God’s promises to us, activate trust, accomplish what you set out to do,
bear good fruit in us, breathe new life in us, build up Christ’s church,
comfort, counsel, console,
dispel doubt and fear, deliver us from evil, discern the way forward,
energize, equip us for ministry, examine hearts,
fill us with faith, foster forgiveness, form new ways to spread the gospel,
give insight into the Word, guide, grant peace,
help us in our weakness, hear our prayers, hold us in the love of the Trinity,
issue spiritual gifts, illumine scripture to our understanding, invite repentance,
jostle our memory of scripture, join yourself to us, journey with us every day,
kindle agape love, keep us on the path of life, knit us together in unity,
lift the brokenhearted, lament our lack of commitment, laugh with us in our joy,
make all things new, meet with us in communion, mend wounds,
needle our consciences, nourish our souls, negate thoughts of abandonment,
open doors of opportunity, oversee growth, offer clear direction,
point to Christ, pray for us, preach with power through your servants,
question our motives, quicken our spirits, quell our fears,
remind, rebuke, reason,
sanctify, seal us as children of God, send us out to bring the gospel to the world,
teach, train, testify to the truth,
understand our need, unleash divine power to love and forgive, unveil hidden truths,
visit us with visions, view the whole picture, voice the very voice of God,
wait with us in stillness, witness to God’s greatness, watch over us with whispers of hope,
exhort us to good works, exude wisdom, exercise the authority to convict us of sin,
yearn for Christ to be exalted, yield to the Father and the Son, yoke us to Jesus,
and zealously watch for God’s kingdom to come in glory at his return.
Along with the Father and the Son, you are the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. We worship you and give you thanks. Fill each one of us again. Amen.’