At the beginning of June we will celebrate Pentecost, the moment when the first disciples began to realise that inspired by the Holy Spirit they could create a God-shaped, Christ-centred, Spirit-led community. Amongst the ways they did, was to get into the habit of meeting together for teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer, as a result of which they experienced generous giving, kindly service, growing fellowships, shared meals and worshipful lives. These essentials of Christian Community have not changed over the years, but sometimes we think we can opt in and out of some habits and still feel like we belong. In doing so we do God a dis-service.
Over the summer months I intend exploring these Holy Habits and the way that belonging to the body of Christ has always involved all these elements. Asking how we can help and encourage one another to continue this tradition and in doing so enhance our own discipleship creating God-shaped, Christ-centred, Spirit-led communities that serve God well and honour the inheritance we have been given.
Alongside these Holy Habits we will explore the story of biblical disciples; Barnabas who encouraged, Mary who learned, Hannah who prayed, Martha who welcomed, Mary Magdalene who witnessed – how can we be encouraged, learn, pray, welcome and witness? What are the habits we do well? What new habits must we form? What does it mean to be disciples in the 21st Century?
As a Collect for the feast of Barnabas says, “Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the wellbeing of your Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”
Be blessed, Craig