Dear Friends,

 June this year includes the Day of Pentecost when we celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit to the church and some speak of it as the church's birthday, certainly from then on, the early Christians became more confident in spreading the message of God's love throughout the known world.

 What we find is a group of disappointed and dispirited disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit and shaken out of their self-pity to embrace the message of love for themselves and the world. It is the spirit of God bursting out, pushing us onwards, and opening new ways of being the people of God. Trinity Sunday follows Pentecost. The Trinity is about encountering the whole of God in our daily experience.

It is about experiencing love, reconciliation, forgiveness and renewal to become more fully human.

From Trinity Sunday onwards the church's year is in ordinary time with the occasional saint's day, chapel anniversary and harvest celebrations thrown in. How often with big occasions or celebrations we are tempted to say, “now we can get back to normal”.

The point of Pentecost is that from then on ‘normal’ includes the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament God’s Spirit was regarded as coming to special people who had special tasks and responsibilities such as a prophet or a king. The prophet Joel looked forward to the day when all God’s people would be prophets because they would all receive God’s Spirit. On the Day of Pentecost that prophecy is fulfilled and from now on believers receive the Spirit to fulfil the task to which they are called. The Spirit is not just for doing extraordinary things but for doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

So every day is special because you are special to God and have been given this special gift to live our lives renewed in love, forgiveness and reconciliation.

The world’s needs cry out for this. The people of Yemen, Sri Lanka, New Zealand many other places in the world including our own Northern Ireland will only see peace and justice through love, reconciliation, forgiveness and renewal.

To infuse all of life with spirit and love will help change things and us.

Les Hann