The generosity of the Spirit

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Last week, at the end our our Sunday service, we invited children to come up and hand round flowers to people in the congregation. One person commented afterwards how wonderful it was to see them excitedly zooming around (most of them are in the toddler category!) proudly thrusting pots of primulas into people’s hands. The comment was made during our Lent group when we had been discussing the Holy Spirit and how the Spirit is at work in the world and in our lives. And it struck me what an apt image those children were of the exuberant and generous Spirit of God.

We are told in scripture that ‘God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.'(2 Corinthians 9:8), that God is able to do ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us’ (Ephesians 3:20) and that the Spirit is the giver of gifts, spiritual gifts which help us build each other up (1 Corinthians 12:4). So can we picture the Holy Spirit rushing around the room with boundless enthusiasm and the desire to distribute good things, gifts for us to treasure and which bless us and those around us? Imagine as God looks upon you with flowers in hand and offers them to you in a gesture of love and blessing. Take a moment to picture it and ask God what it is God would like to give to you today? Perhaps the Spirit will impart peace, or joy, or patience or clarity. Whatever it is, receive it as the Spirit’s generous gift.

In this season of Lent we particularly remember God’s most costly gift to us, that of himself in the person of Jesus and his life poured out for us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16). Ponder this precious gift, the love it speaks of and the hope it offers.